How Students In Higher Ed Benefit From Learning Analytics

When we talk about using technology to facilitate better results for students, the conversation might get steered towards technology in the hands of students.

In that case, we’re talking about devices, apps, and classroom tech that help students understand more deeply and make better connections in the classroom. And that’s great—there are many amazing tech advances that are putting more power literally in the palms of students’ hands.

But there’s another way that new technology can foster better student outcomes in higher education, and that’s through learning analytics.

When students and faculty use learning management systems like Blackboard and Canvas, they end up generating data through grades, attendance, communications, class forums, and other experiences. That data can then be analyzed, and in turn produce meaningful insights into student performance and behavior.

One of the most important ways that this can be used is by identifying students who become at risk of failing or dropping out early on in the class. This is a key insight, because students who fall behind early during a semester are less likely to succeed in the class and get the most out of their education. These analytics can also provide data on which students are the most engaged, and which have a lower rate of engagement. As you might imagine, students with a lower rate of engagement are more at risk.

No one wants to see students leave college without a diploma, and higher ed institutions work tirelessly to increase student retention. When we take this data and make use of it, by identifying at-risk students and getting them help earlier on, student retention can increase, and we can keep more students from failing classes or dropping out altogether.

These tools can also potentially give students a better idea of their own progress, mapping out what they need to do to hit their own personal goals and milestones—whether that’s progression through a major or what it will take to raise their GPA to a certain level. Students like being able to see that kind of roadmap and visualization of goals, and learning analytics can help them with that.

And hopefully, when combined with action on the part of the institution to intervene earlier when students are at risk of dropping out, learning analytics will provide higher retention rates, better outcomes for students, and a deeper knowledge of student needs in the institutions that serve them.

That’s a powerful tool, and it’s one that we hope to see used more frequently in higher ed in the coming years.

It seems that every year new technology brings innovations and upgrades to college campuses, and at N2N Services, we believe that’s the way it should be. We also believe that colleges and universities should have available to them a powerful and seamless integration platform to integrate all those tools and get the most out of them. If that sounds like something your school could use, then give us a call today.