Maximizing student success with the help of data analytics in higher education

Maximizing Student Success Through Data Analytics in Higher Education


Are you tired of the traditional approach to teaching, where you teach new lessons, provide students with formative assessments, and give feedback, only to end the cycle with a summative high-stakes exam? This rinse-and-repeat process is a familiar one in higher education, but it’s not always the most effective way to maximize student success. While feedback on formative assessments is crucial, there’s often valuable information available from summative assessments that teachers overlook. By leveraging data analytics in higher education, teachers can gain a deeper understanding of their students’ performance and use higher education analytics to improve outcomes.That’s where the EDU Suite by Enflux comes in, providing teachers with the ExamSoft data they need to make informed decisions, to identify students needing support and improve student learning, evaluate curriculum and program performance, and identify areas for improvement.

In this article, we’ll explore how data analytics in higher education can help maximize student success through the use of higher education analytics.

Provide Better Feedback to Students through Higher Education Analytics

While students in higher education may value learning their grade after an exam, simply telling them their score isn’t enough to help them improve. In order to truly self-assess their performance and work towards better outcomes, they need more targeted, content-based feedback.

That’s where data analytics in higher education comes in. By using a higher education analytics solution, faculty can provide students with feedback based on specific subsets of content that make up each exam. For example, a student who scored an 87% on an exam may have answered all questions related to Topic A and Topic B correctly but struggled with Topic C, only answering 70% of those questions correctly. By giving students this level of feedback, they can study more efficiently by focusing on the areas where they struggle most. This actionable study plan, based on individualized data analytics, puts students in a better position to improve their outcomes on future assessments.

Correct Learning Concerns with Data Analytics Solutions

Giving students individual feedback empowers them to take ownership of their studying and learning plans, but with a data analytics solution like the EDU Suite, we can support student learning at the cohort level, too. By aggregating the same data we provide to individual students on subsets of content, faculty can quickly identify the topics that the entire class is struggling with the most. This information can be used to efficiently and proactively correct student learning issues, preventing the class from falling further behind on these subjects.

higher education analytics and student performance dashboard by Enflux

With data analytics solution like the EDU Suite, faculty can identify and address learning concerns in real-time, rather than waiting for the results of the next high-stakes exam. By leveraging the power of data analytics in higher education, faculty can make data-informed decisions that benefit the entire class. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Optimizing Teaching Methods through Student Performance Analytics

Implementing appropriate teaching methods is crucial to influencing improved student outcomes. The EDU Suite provides valuable insights beyond just student performance data. By tagging questions with the teaching methods used during course instruction, faculty can see how students perform when taught with different methods.

EDU (ExamSoft) Suite by Enflux showcasing the Item View

The EDU Suite’s Assessment and Item Effectiveness dashboard empowers faculty members to evaluate both the assessment as a whole and the individual items included within it.

This information is especially useful when experimenting with new teaching methods. It’s common for students in higher education to rate professors lower when active learning teaching methods are employed, even if these methods are helping students learn and retain course content better. Using the pre-built “Assessment and Item Effectiveness” and “Student Performance” dashboards, faculty can make data-driven decisions about which teaching methods are most effective and beneficial for their students.

Course Metrics Student Review dashboard by Enflux

EDU Suite’s Student Performance dashboard is a powerful tool to help faculty improve their teaching effectiveness and optimize student learning outcomes.

By utilizing data analytics in higher education, faculty can enhance student success by making well-informed decisions about teaching methods based on quantitative data. With EDU Suite by Enflux, educators have access to higher education analytics that enable them to make informed decisions about teaching strategies rather than solely relying on qualitative feedback from students or classroom observations. This process also helps faculty understand their individual strengths in the classroom and which teaching methods work best for them, allowing them to optimize their teaching approach.

Using Data Analytics to Help Students Excel on Licensure Exams

If you teach in a program in which students will eventually need to take a licensure exam, you’re well aware of the pressures to prepare students for that exam. With data analytics solution, whole student cohorts and individual students can benefit in this preparation process! EDU Suite aggregates data across the curriculum to inform administration, faculty, and students as to how well-prepared students are on specific content areas leading up to these exams.

[Quick personal anecdote I’m going to try and sneak past the editor:

When I was preparing for my social studies teacher licensure exam in Ohio, I found it difficult to determine which topics to study. Social studies encompassed history, sociology, economics, government, anthropology, and psychology, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. Consequently, I studied everything I could, but I failed the first licensure exam.

If I had been provided with statistics indicating the areas where I was struggling the most, I could have focused my studies and been better prepared for the exam. Additionally, it’s possible that other students in my cohort faced similar struggles. If our instructors had access to this data, they could have proactively supported our learning by reviewing the material with us.]

By identifying the topics that students struggle with the most, administration and faculty can provide targeted support and resources to help them succeed. Equipped with personal performance data across different subject areas, students can take ownership of their learning by developing a strategic study plan. This shift from mere data to relevant data ensures that students receive the guidance they need to perform well on licensure exams and achieve their career goals.

In conclusion, data analytics solutions provide a powerful tool for educators and administrators to analyze student-level data and make data-driven decisions that can improve student outcomes now and in the future. By leveraging the insights provided by these solutions, educators and administrators can better understand their students and make informed decisions that can maximize student success in the current classroom, on licensure exams, and ultimately in their careers.

Dan Thompson, MEd
Assistant Director of Faculty Development and Instructional Design,
Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine

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