Neal Nye , May 30, 2019

Higher education institutions are under increased pressure to deliver results. Shrinking funding combined with the acceleration and consumerization of technology have led colleges and universities to begin the journey of technological transformation.

Technology has revolutionized the college campus but leveraging the right kind of technology to improve the college experience and student success can be a challenge. Here’s how big data, predicative analytics, blended learning, and student feedback are improving student life and outcomes across college campuses.

1. Big Data to Improve Student Retention and Graduation Rates

If students struggle with a certain subject their freshman year, are they more likely to drop out? Which students are more likely to seek out academic support, and do they graduate at higher rates than students who don’t? Does it matter if students delay choosing a major?

Big data can help answer all of these questions. When collected and analyzed correctly, you can use data to uncover patterns in human behavior – like why students don’t return after freshman year or why students take more than four years to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Many students attending four-year institutions will not graduate in that timeframe. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the national average retention rate is 61.1% and the 6-year graduation rate is 59%. That means approximately 40% of students don’t return to the same college after freshman year. And only about 40% of students will complete a bachelor’s degree in four years.

Institutions are increasingly using data to identify key areas where students are succeeding or struggling. Turning student data into business intelligence to support analytic-driven decision making is transforming how services are delivered to an ever-evolving student demographic.

2. Predicative Analytics to Increase Student Engagement and Success

Predicative analytics is the use of data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. The goal is to go beyond knowing what has happened to provide a best assessment of what will happen in the future.

Student engagement is the most important intangible when it comes to student success. A mobile application that uses predicative analytics by tracking student schedules, sending reminders for due dates, and monitoring the overall path to graduation will keep students engaged in their success. That means higher graduation rates for your college. Enrolling your college in a mobile application that utilizes predictive analytics gives students clarity into their performance relative to their program requirements.

3. Blended Learning to Support Flexible Education

Combining traditional classrooms with e-learning to create a new, hybrid teaching methodology is known as blended learning. It’s not just simply adding new in-class room technology. It represents a fundamental change in the way teachers and students approach the learning experience.

In a blended learning environment, students are expected to watch and take notes on pre-recorded lectures outside of the classroom. In the classroom, student takes tests or have additional learning experiences that coincide with the out-of-class content.

Blended learning allows professors to shift focus from text-heavy curriculum to spending more time on interactive learning initiatives. For students, blended learning enables them to remain engaged in the course materials throughout the entire semester.

This highly effective approach to learning can increase the average test scores of students and improve student engagement – which all improves student success.

4. Student Feedback to Make Campus Improvements

Many higher education institutions have already implemented end-of-term surveys that empower students to give their open and honest feedback on their professors, courses, and overall learning experience. This transparent feedback provides colleges a wealth of information into how students truly feel about their campus and student experience.

But what good is that information and feedback if it’s not analyzed to discover trends and applied to improve both the campus experience and student life? Taking valuable feedback from students to make actual changes and improvements to your campus that will keep students returning and engaged every year.

Technology is creating philosophical shifts in approaches to education and the college experience. And, it’s a fact that technology improves college experiences and student outcomes. In today’s digital revolution, higher education institutions that leverage new and emerging technologies will be the same ones improving student life to ensure success, retention, and engagement.

Category: Higher Education
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