By Annabella Melvin
University of Kansa (KU) faculty members Dea Follmer Greenhoot and Caroline Bennett were keynote speakers at this year’s Annual Learning Analytics Summit, held each year at Indiana University Bloomington. Now going into its 4th year, the purpose of the summit is to bring together faculty, staff, and administrators who share an interest in fostering student success through the use of big data and analytical tools at the course, program and institutional levels.
During their presentation, Follmer Greenhoot and Bennett discussed the evolution of faculty engagement with learning analytics at KU, including the initial and iterative development of a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) to leverage the strengths of departmental working groups and cross-departmental conversations. During their talk they also discussed the types of analytical data gathered, and how the data were used to determine action plans to improve student success and enact programmatic change.
KU initially hosted a series of workshops to build a learning analytics FLC and Follmer Greenhoot noted how this resulted in major findings that helped the university move towards a more analytical approach.
“Meaningful curriculum changes only happened when multiple faculty members in the same department participated,” she said. “For most faculty, we had to create the occasions to attend to evidence, reflect on it, and envision next steps.”
Follmer Greenhoot and Bennett also shared results from KU’s STEM Analytics Teams (STATs) program, which in 2017 received a 2-year grant from the Association of American Universities.
The STATs program has now led to the creation of the Ideas to Action program, furthering faculty use of learning analytics at KU.
Thus far, 25 departments and 112 faculty have participated in these various programs. “We’re really emphasizing some of the destination data and alumni data, as departments really rethink what they’re educating students for,” said Follmer Greenhoot.
The annual Learning Analytics Summit is sponsored by Indiana University’s Center for Learning Analytics and Student Success (CLASS) and took place on May 12-14, 2021. A video recording of the Greenhoot and Bennet’s keynote can be found here. For further information or to view other summit presentations please contact George Rehrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.