Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve all been using digital platforms that we may not have tried before. But just because we know what a certain tool looks like and have tried it a few times doesn’t necessarily mean we’re getting the most out of the technology.
We need to use the tool every day, we should know how it works, and we need to be clear about what we want to make of it to call ourselves a true proactive tech professional. It is these people within the higher education sector who can truly take advantage of the recent edtech boom to implement long-standing changes that benefit the university and ultimately the students.
According to 2021 Student Academic Experience Survey, there was a lack of physical interaction, a sense of belonging, and feelings of isolation were common concerns for students during the pandemic. The survey found that students lacked a sense of personal communication, saying they would appreciate an individual check-in by their tutors during Covid-19.
Despite the challenges facing the sector, such as digital transformation, policy change, student fees, the increasingly diverse student population and the effect of Covid, there is strong pressure on delivering results.
The more you know about your student … the more they know about you
Today’s students seek authenticity, transparency, and closer relationships. The more you know about your student and the more they know about you, the easier it will be to create a real connection and adapt the student’s journey to their needs.
We know from empirical evidence that engagement is the best predictor of student success, and it is something that tutor and mentor can have a direct impact on.
In recent years, we have seen rapid industry adoption of using learning analytics data to help understand and improve not only education delivery, but also to make information-based decisions and, perhaps most importantly, provide students with information that will help them succeed. Learning analytics benefits students, teachers and their educational institutions as a whole for a range of well-being, achievement and achievement, progression and retention initiatives.
We worked with a university that monitored undergraduate student engagement levels to accurately identify early indicators of students at risk of course withdrawal and those who may need additional support. In 2021, the university also explored new methodologies for reaching low-engagement students, including a phone call campaign and the use of online forms.
Improve the pedagogical approach
Another institution radically transformed the academic personal mentoring experience for both students and staff and provided more contextualized and nuanced student support.
Mentors have access to meaningful insights and greater visibility into how students interact with the various digital education tools made available to them, which is helping the university understand and improve its pedagogical approach.
When data is exposed, it is not always clear how to best use the data available to an institution.
The progress we are seeing in the industry is inspiring and encouraging, but much is still needed to ensure that institutions continue on their path of student engagement. A common challenge for universities is the lack of visibility and understanding of student engagement with their course. The data itself is often isolated between systems and can be considered difficult to access, manage and interpret. When data is exposed, it is not always clear how to best use the data available to an institution.
From tech users to professionals
It’s becoming that tech professional, someone who uses a digital tool every day, who knows how it works and most importantly, is very clear about what they’re trying to get out of it, who can lead the charge when it comes to using analytics. students.
Building an understanding of engagement over time will help train intelligence to shape future decisions and enable impact analysis, such as which interventions are working, what resources students are more or less engaged with, and the correlation between engagement and student success. And if there are differences in engagement between different student groups / demographics.
Learning analytics offers institutions a fundamental tool to better understand how students are doing right now. Engagement data provides insights to start a conversation between students and teachers. It means educators aren’t left in the dark and students know the university cares about their success. Thanks to this insight, university staff and its students can easily identify areas of interest and interest and make conscious interventions to maximize success.
Richard Gascoigne is the CEO of Path to the solutionthe developers of the Student Engagement Analysis Platform (StREAM), which provides educators with insights into student engagement at the cohort, course, module and individual levels in a single platform.
“How Proactive Tech Professionals Can Increase Student Engagement”
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