Effective use of university learning analytics requires thoughtful management of cultural change and strategic conversations about improving student success, Bay View Alliance members told participants in a recent workshop.
The half-day pre-conference workshop, “Developing Institutional Learning Analytics ‘Communities of Transformation’ to Support Student Success,” drew 22 participants from 18 institutions at the 2017 Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference in Vancouver, B.C., in March. It was led by Jim Greer of the University of Saskatchewan, Leah Macfadyen of the University of British Columbia, and George Rehrey and Linda Shepard of Indiana University, who joined remotely.
Rehrey and Shepard shared their experiences in creating Indiana’s Student Learning Analytics Fellows Program, which recruited faculty to explore ways of using institutional analytics to answer questions about teaching, learning and student success. Greer and Macfadyen explained their participation in a spinoff of the Indiana program, a multi-year project to create similar analytics program among partners in the BVA. Rehrey and Shepard are leading the project that originated at Indiana University.
To help participants plan similar projects, workshop organizers led them through the ROMA model for change, with exercises in setting goals, creating meaningful questions, and encouraging involvement from faculty and departments for data-driven decision making at the course, program and curricular levels. The goal of the workshop was to help participants create a plan for building a campus community made of faculty devoted to using learning analytics to improve teaching and learning.
Participants used such words as “inspiring,” “affirming,” “reflective” and “fruitful” in describing their experiences in the workshop. They praised the tangible examples from the workshop leaders and the grassroots approach to effecting change.
“Having a useful framework to work with makes things better organized and easier to explain to all involved,” on participant said.
The proposal for the workshop was created by faculty members and administrators from six universities in the Bay View Alliance: Indiana University Bloomington, the University of British Columbia, the University of Kansas, Queens University and the University of Saskatchewan.