Blackboard Predict: Ulster's Project to Improve Retention Rates (Andy Jaffrey)

Video created by timothyharfield on May 23, 2018

    Covering issues of implementation, questions of ethics, and strategies of adoption, this talk from Andy Jaffrey about Ulster University's student retention journey using Blackboard Predict was a true highlight from TLC Europe 2018.



    Ulster has an historical standardised approach to management reporting related to retention and progression. Reports are typically generated at a Faculty and Programme level at the point in the academic year when data is described as stable, this is typically in the period after interventions are possible or feasible. The data is then used to inform retention interventions in the next academic year.


    A new PVC Education challenged his portfolio to make more timely data based decision making and explore predictive analytics solutions which would allow at-risk students to be identified sooner at a point in time when interventions have a better chance of succeeding. It was recognised that similar discussions had taken place at Ulster for a number of years but there were often barriers which prevented agility in this area. A pilot project was commenced in June 2017 based around Blackboard Predict to investigate these perceived barriers and nudge Ulster’s educational analytics work forwards.


    As with all projects of this scale and complexity the technical aspects have been much more simple than the governance, policy and academic expectations. This presentation will share what we have learnt during the implementation phase and will describe our expectations for the project as the pilot develops.


    The presentation covers  some technical aspects but at a high enough level to be of general interest to non-technical audience.