You can’t just set it and forget it.
Analytics are simply a tool. As a tool, they are only as effective as the institutions that wield them. But effectiveness hinges on experience. How can an institution with little or no experience with learning analytics accelerate its adoption and make an immediate impact? It’s a chicken and egg situation that can be difficult for institutions to get out of by themselves. That’s why we have developed a new Learning Analytics Data Strategy Workshop. With help from our team of experts, institutions can accelerate their learning analytics journeys by understanding the data that is already available to them and determining how it can be most effectively mobilized in support of institutional strategy.
As the field of learning analytics flourishes and vendor tools proliferate, many institutions still feel like they are not receiving value from their educational data. It is tempting to begin by licensing a promising technology and trusting that people and practices will emerge on their own. If you buy it, they will come, right? Institutions feel pressure to extract value from their data and buying a tool may seem like a way to accelerate progress. Unfortunately, in the absence of clearly defined goals and a strategy for achieving them the potential of analytics can be squandered, student success initiatives can stagnate, and resistance to transformative innovation can increase.
Learning analytics is now mature enough as a field that many colleges and universities have at least small pockets of interest. Faculty and administrators are using data for their own purposes and deriving a lot of benefit. But the true value of analytics in higher education is its ability to scale, through the widespread strategic adoption of common technologies and high impact practices.
It is a major challenge to bridge the gap between promising small-scale projects and broader strategic initiatives, one that only a handful of campuses have been able to do successfully. It is even more challenging to be faced with the ‘blank slate,’ acknowledging the potential for learning analytics to increase learning outcomes, student retention, and institutional performance, but not knowing where to start. I know from personal experience just how challenging it can be to garner institutional support from the grass roots. And I have seen many institutions start with technology, only to flounder when their investments do not immediately provide strategic value – because their investments were not strategically aligned with institutional priorities in the first place.
At Blackboard, we want to see colleges and universities thrive in their use of educational data. By thinking about the digital learning environment in the contexts of broader challenges, institutions can gain increased value from the educational technology investments they have already made. Our new Learning Analytics Data Strategy Workshop is designed to help institutions understand the teaching and learning data they collect, and how this data can be leveraged to address core institutional challenges like enrollment, progression, retention, and graduation.
Want to learn more about how Blackboard can help optimize the use of data in support of teaching, learning, and student success at your institution? Reach us directly or visit us online.