On the one hand, some courses are so full that extra sections have to be added and students are placed on waitlists. Colleges and universities offering those particular courses have to turn down more students than usual as they deal with increasing numbers of applications. On the other hand, small liberal arts colleges are forced to seek out financial partners to stay afloat or they must consider shutting down entirely.
When you think data and analytics, chances are you think numbers. But it’s not just numbers, especially in the field of higher education. Sure, there are grades and tuition and percentages and calculations, but there are also pieces of information that are qualitative instead of quantitative.
The students and their experiences provide data that is every bit as valuable as the countless numbers that are being crunched on college campuses. Some schools are struggling with how to measure those experiences…while others have figured it out by going straight to the source.
Many colleges and universities are focused on using data and analytics to help students succeed. But what does that look like in practice?
The answer is different depending on the schools. One thing they have in common, though, is that they rely on data that shows them which classes students are struggling in the most. Here are a few ways institutions of higher education have found success intervening on behalf of students who need help.
With plenty of jobs on the horizon – and higher salaries to go along with those jobs – it’s no surprise that data science is among the most popular majors in higher education. Colleges and universities are scrambling to meet the demand – and in some cases taking steps to alter their campuses as they look to the future.
What does the rise in data science careers mean for higher education? Here’s a look at what’s happening. (more…)
Recently EDUCAUSE spotlighted institutions where IT leaders have been helping their organizations make increasingly information-based decisions. The University of Mississippi was featured as one case study in how institutions of higher learning can use data and analytics to improve student outcomes. The university has 23,000 students across all of its campuses, and with its 55 percent overall increase in enrollment over a ten-year period ending in 2016, it is among the fastest-growing colleges in the country.
That rapid growth, combined with UM’s diverse student body and relatively limited resources as a public university in a poor state, means that the university needs to take advantage of every opportunity it can to get ahead – and data can help it do that. (more…)
If it seems like you’re constantly hearing about the expansion of institutes of higher education, it’s probably because you are. Expanding a campus isn’t just great for the college or university’s bottom line, but it can also help to revitalize the area where it is located.
This is true in small college towns or big cities alike – when a college or university expands it is often best to do so with an aim of helping out the surrounding neighborhood, in some cases creating more jobs, and often with an eye on integrating students more into the lives of the surrounding community through, for example, tutoring. None of the reasons for expanding are all that new… but some of the tools used and the approach with which colleges evaluate their real estate acquisitions are. Let’s take a look. (more…)
While in the United States many higher education institutions struggle with exactly how best to use the data they collect, in some European countries there is an automatic financial incentive to organizing the data. In Sweden, education is publicly funded, and a university gets money from the government depending on the number of registered students.
Such is the case at Dalarna University, which has campuses in two locations in Sweden. Dalarna had about 14,500 students in 2017, and about 60% of its students are internet-based. Dalarna uses Dimensional Insight’s Diver Platform to help organize the data that it needs to report to the government in order for the university to be successful. (more…)
One of the biggest complaints about analytics use in higher education is that schools have tons of data, but they just don’t know how to use it to make decisions to improve students’ experiences. That could be about to change.
The University of California at Irvine received a million-dollar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to lead an effort that will track students’ behaviors in order to measure their success. Cal-Irvine will serve as the pilot site of the study, and the information gathered there will inform a national study of several colleges, managed by a consortium at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Researchers are hoping to figure out what practices affect how students learn, grow, and enter the work force. Here’s what they’re doing in their study that sets them apart. (more…)
In a previous blog post, we talked about the Top 10 issues in IT, the list put out each year by EDUCAUSE at its annual conference. Another interesting panel discussion took place at the conference, tying together many of the issues on the list.
The EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research teamed up with the Association for Institutional Research and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education to study how colleges and universities use data and analytics to help students succeed. “Student success” itself was ranked number two on the EDUCAUSE Top 10 list, but much of what was written about in the study and talked about on the panel also addresses almost every other issue on the list. (more…)
It sounds like an idea any university’s leadership can get behind: Using data to make a positive difference in the lives of students. But it can also be overwhelming. What’s the right kind of data to collect? How can it be used to make improve a student’s experience? The problem seems complex. The solution doesn’t have to be.
Many universities are finding success in analytics by keeping things simple and building from there. Here are some lessons learned from their successes, and how you can go about using data to make a difference for students at your university as well. (more…)