By George Rehrey, Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) faculty members were recognized at this year’s Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference (LAK) for their contributions to the emerging field of learning analytics. Their work in furthering student success at IUB was featured in a paper titled Implementation of a Learning Analytics Fellows Program, which received the Best Practitioner Long Paper award from a review committee representing the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SOLAR). The paper describes the work of 42 Learning Analytics Fellows, who have conducted scholarly research about teaching and learning, using learning analytics to understand student success at the course, program and institutional levels. Their studies often use student information systems data about student demographics, preparation, and performance, along with the choices students make on their pathway toward graduation. A description of Learning Analytics Fellows research projects along with final reports is available at http://go.iu.edu/1SVy.
“For the past several years, we’ve been using learning analytics methods to look closely at barriers to student success through these 42 faculty studies,” said Dennis Groth, vice provost for undergraduate education at IU Bloomington. “Once students are admitted to IU, we want to meet them with support to match their self-effort on their way to degree completion. Each of these studies looks at places where students may trip up, whether that’s difficulty with performing well in a particular course, selecting or changing majors, dropping a class, or leaving IU altogether. Faculty involvement is critical to our continued efforts to better keep students on track.”
George Rehrey, Director of IU’s Center for Learning Analytics and Student Success (CLASS) presented the paper at the conference, which was held in Sydney, Australia on March 5-9, 2018. Co-authors of the paper were Dennis Groth, Vice-provost for Undergraduate Education, Linda Shepard, Associate Vice-provost for the Bloomington Assessment and Research Office (BAR), Stefano Fiorini, Lead Research Management Analyst (BAR), and Carol Hostetter, Professor of Social Work.
“During the past four years of the LA Fellows program, we have witnessed individual projects that study student behavior within a particular course expand to collaborative research that spans courses, departments and schools,” Rehrey said. Those projects include “Mitigating Grade Surprise,” a study led by Jennifer Meta Robinson, which encompasses courses from five programs; and “Tracking Student Movement in the School of Public Health,” led by Sarah Young.
“Of course, we look forward to hearing about the results of all the projects at our annual December event, where the 2018 fellows will share their projects in a forum open to the entire campus,” Rehrey said.”
Now in its 8th year, the LAK conference is an annual international event sponsored by SOLAR, which is an inter-disciplinary network of leading international researchers who are exploring the role and impact of analytics on teaching, learning, and student success. SoLAR supports collaborative and open research around learning analytics, promoting the publication and dissemination of learning analytics research, and advising and consulting with state, provincial, and national governments. The conference provides a forum for presentations, research practices, and knowledge exchange related to the transdisciplinary field of learning analytics.
For more information about IUB’s Learning Analytics Fellows Program and the Center for Learning Analytics and Student Success contact George Rehrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com