Learner Analytics: Improving Student Success and Efficiency

Three UMUCers had a chance to visit with 40 other universities to hear about the Civitas Learning product roadmap. The tools and work in data analytics is impressive, but the heart of the gathering is the learning from each other. The variety of universities in the room included research universities, comprehensive four year universities, state systems, community colleges, for-profits, and few like us who are public and serving only non-traditional students. Most of us focused our work on online students, but many have been able to leverage data for blended and even face to face students.

The analytics, modeling, and algorithms are complex but it is clear that the use of these tools will push universities into a much more sophisticated relationship with our students. And, quite frankly, it’s about time. Based on many of our current processes and technologies, universities have in place interactions with our students that are way too transactional. Only faculty roles and some student affairs/advising have relational interactions. Our new approach needs to be relational interactions that are guided by analytics based on what students need to keep moving ahead and growing.

UMUC is a leader but we have much to improve. Other universities are also exploring tools that help faculty engage more effectively, advisors have productive conversations on academic planning, and students to be more empowered with their own decision making. The Civitas Learning tools can be found elsewhere, but the combination of a learning community and incredibly passionate and smart folks at Civitas Learning make this a great space for UMUC to accelerate its work with learner analytics.

We look forward to piloting new tools and approaches and hope the community will join us as we explore analytics. If you are looking for more details about analytics, visit the Learner Analytics Summit presentations that UMUC hosted as a three day event featuring our work and many others.

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