How universities are using data to stop students dropping out

Educational Innovation Weekly Review for Ed Leaders
Curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation
July 7, 2015
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How universities are using data to stop students dropping out
The Guardian
  • According to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce), more than 8% of undergraduates drop out in their first year of study. This costs universities money – and costs students lost time, money (spent or borrowed), and the devastating confidence knock from failing. 
  • But some institutions are now using data they hold on students to tailor their response to those who need it most. And this raises interesting questions around what data is gathered, how it’s analysed and who gets to see it. Should universities depend on so-called data triggers to prompt enquiries from tutors, or should they use predictions based on information garnered over time to shape a longer-term response?
  • At Nottingham Trent University, student engagement manager Ed Foster has been leading a pilot that looks at four factors that signal student engagement - library use, card swipes into buildings, VLE use and electronic submission of coursework - and then analyses the progression and attainment in particular groups.
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Keywords: higher education, data analytics, universities, technology
Cornell Wants People to ‘Collide’ on Its New NYC Tech Campus
  • Designing “collision points,” or moments where individuals come together in spontaneous interactions, has long been a trendy idea. MIT’s famed Building 20 and the Pixar campus near San Francisco are two places designed to promote “crossing paths.” 
  • This trend aligns with Cornell Tech’s overarching goal of building a “graduate school for the digital age,” says school dean Dan Huttenlocher. In such a world, collaboration and cooperation are essential to success.
  • This interdisciplinary ethos is echoed most clearly in Weiss/Manfredi’s Bridge, where students and companies will co-exist like dorm mates. “It’s about making connections between someone who might be working at Microsoft and some doctoral student who is working on ways of assembling information, and that rarely happens on an academic campus.” 
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Keywords: universities, technology, architecture
Competency-Based Education: What We Learned from Experience
  • Mary W. Hendrix, Vice-President for Student Access and Success at Texas A&M University-Commerce, shares some of the lessons they have learned from experience in implementing competency-based education. In July 2012, the university began the process of establishing the first competency-based baccalaureate degree offered by a public university in the state of Texas.
  • For Hendrix faculty is crucial in CBE. "Faculty need to be involved from the beginning. Faculty led the process of learning what competency-based education is and is not, deliberating on what students should know and be able to do, and designing the curriculum, the instructional methods, and the assessment. This has been the most critical factor to the success of the program," Hendrix said. 
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Keywords: competency-based education, CBE, Texas A&M University-Commerce
Harvard Reveals It Had An IT Breach In June Impacting 8 Colleges And Administrations
  • Harvard University announced that on June 19, it discovered a breach in the IT systems of its Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Central Administration, currently impacting eight different schools and administrative organizations at the university.
  • “It is possible that Harvard login credentials (computer and email passwords, including Office 365) stored on the compromised FAS and Central Administration networks have been exposed," the university IT team noted on a website it set up with information about the breach. They also added that currently they do not believe Harvard email has been exposed.
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Keywords: IT, security, Harvard
MIT Researchers Develop Model To Predict MOOC Dropouts
Campus Technology
  • Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a model that aims to predict when students will drop out of a massive open online course (MOOC). The model, presented at last week's Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, was trained on data from one course and is designed to apply to a wide range of other courses. 
  • "There's a known area in machine learning called transfer learning, where you train a machine-learning model in one environment and see what you have to do to adapt it to a new environment," said Veeramachaneni, a research scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
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Keywords: MOOCs, online education, machine learning, MIT
Why top business schools like MIT and Stanford are using 3D avatars for online students
Business Insider
  • One of the classic laments of online learning is the lack of human interaction. This can feel especially detrimental in programs that are built on networking, like business school.
  • But some top business schools are now experimenting with 3D avatars and virtual classrooms to give students all over the world a chance at a more traditional education. 
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Keywords: online education, business schools, 3D technology
Columbia College Chicago Rolls Out Live, Interactive Virtual Tours
Campus Technology
  • Prospective students at Columbia College Chicago can now view live-streamed, interactive virtual tours in HD. The institution has partnered with the platform Georama to broadcast tours for students who cannot make a physical trip for an on-site visit. 
  • Typical viewers include out-of-state students who can't afford to make a trip to all the universities they are considering, international students who don't have a visa to make a trip prior to college admission, or students who simply wish to experience the campus virtually before making the investment to visit in-person.
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Keywords: recruitment, admissions, virtual tours, technology
5 books that inspired billionaire CEO Elizabeth Holmes
Business Insider
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Keywords: leadership, strategy, books
From MIT's Neri Oxman, The (Far-Flung) Future Of Wearables
Fast Company
  • Fitness trackers, email-alert rings, bracelets that tell you how much sun you've gotten: your average wearable is good at conveying information and not much more. But in the hands of Neri Oxman, an architect and founder of the Mediated Matter research group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wearables aren't just passive lifestyle devices; they could generate the food, energy, light, and oxygen to keep us alive.
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Keywords: technology, wearables, research, health, MIT
Educational Innovation Weekly Review is curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's  Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2015.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

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