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CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | November/December 2017
Making an Impact With Data
RThe key to student success is an institutional culture steeped in data,
from faculty and administrators all the way down to the students themselves.
Rhea Kelly
Executive Editor
self” movement, allowing students to track their time spent reading course materials, working on problems, attending help sessions, going to office hours, etc., and suggesting ways to achieve better results.
Project lead Beth Holloway gets right to the heart of this use of data: “Sometimes we don’t always think through the fact that
RECENTLY AT THE EDUCAUSE ANNUAL CONFERENCE committed to data governance. It requires things like letting go of in Philadelphia, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by siloes, integrating systems so everyone has access to consistent Veronica Diaz, the organization’s director of online programs information, agreeing on a standard set of data definitions, and and associate director of the Educause Learning Initiative, demystifying data reporting so that even non-technical users about ways higher ed institutions are leveraging technology can tap into actionable data. All of those efforts help institutions to impact student success. Her questions were thought- better understand their students and develop strategies (both in provoking:
Data is not just for faculty and administrators: It should be
How are campus leaders reinventing or solidifying their
institutional and change management culture to promote accessible to students, too. Why go through college in a vacuum
student success?
In thinking about the future of education, what are some common changes or areas of growth students seek from their college or university in the area of digital learning? How can the universities of tomorrow act with a heightened “student-centered focus” to serve the technology needs and meet the expectations of college students?
Of course, there are a lot of ways to answer those questions. But there’s one theme that I think pervades all three: data.
Colleges and universities today are fine-tuning their use of data for decision-making and identifying the factors that really impact student success. That’s a process that goes deep into institutional culture: developing a mindset that’s data-driven and
when there is information available to help guide you?
and out of the classroom) to better serve their needs.
But data is not just for faculty and administrators: It should be accessible to students, too. Data can help students choose courses where they are most likely to succeed, benchmark their progress with peers and more. Why go through college in a vacuum when there is information available to help guide you? It’s a happy coincidence that one of the 2017 Campus Technology Impact Award winners we are featuring this issue is about just that: putting data into the hands of students to help them get through difficult courses (see page 27). Purdue University’s Pattern app takes a page from the “quantified
the learning environment has two groups in it — instructors and students. They both need to be committed. If we are only feeding data back to administrators and instructors, then we are missing out on an opportunity to have students be agents of their own success.”
How are you using technology to help students succeed? Let us know by submitting your project for the 2018 CT Impact Awards. Nominations are now open at campustechnology. com/impact.
Continue the conversation.
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