In 2016 the University of Greenwich became one of a group of universities to partner with Jisc to co-design and build an analytics solution tailored to the needs of HE institutions, and their core users.
“Students are our allies in the learning analytics space” Dr Christine Couper, University of Greenwich, August 2020
Enhancing student experience – How can a university with more than 18,000 students from highly diverse backgrounds give each one an excellent learning experience, as well as the outcomes they want?
Student engagement – One of the underlying principles of the University of Greenwich’s work has been its commitment to working openly with students and staff. This is to ensure they’re willing participants in this change programme so therefore vital to get them onboard.
The University of Greenwich recognised that a data focused approach could be the answer and that data harnessed correctly could be used to support decision making and improvements to course modules and content.
They also realised that by using a learning analytics tool it opened up the possibility of introducing a more customised learning experience for every student, enabling them to follow their own interests in ways that fit their own learning style.
“Learning analytics was all very new, we had so many questions and wanted to explore analytics carefully and thoroughly. We knew we’d make faster progress if we didn’t work on it alone, which was why we decided to work with Jisc.”
Dr Christine Couper, University of Greenwich, August 2020
Creating a tailored learning analytics data hub
Delivered by Jisc:
- Ensured key data was identified, captured and flowed seamlessly into the central learning data hub
- Worked closely with university managers, staff and students to understand and address any key concerns ensuring they were engaged in the process and were on hand to assist with further initiatives
- Supported the university to deliver implementation and engagement programmes
Delivered by Greenwich:
- A communications plan explaining the benefits of learning analytics to students and staff
- Equipped over 350 staff with skills needed to quickly spot patterns in engagement data
- Created a bespoke policy document defining how they gather, store, safeguard and use students’ personal data
- Held workshops for students to introduce the Study Goal app designed to help students control their own learning
Since the onboarding of Jisc’s Learning Analytics, the university has gained significant insights into student engagement and its predictive modelling.
Data showing how students are engaging with different content and modules, helped to re-evaluate what’s required to keep learning fresh and relevant.
The university is able to quickly identify less engaged students via the LA traffic light tool which identifies student behaviours associated with a lack of engagement and risk of failing in order to make appropriate interventions where necessary.
Re-evaluating both course content and assessment has made it possible to spread workloads more evenly, manage stress levels, giving students a better learning experience, protecting their wellbeing and improving attainment.
“We’re seeing patterns that will help us improve student experience for everyone, and close attainment gaps for black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) students”
Dr Christine Couper, director of strategic planning, University of Greenwich, August 2020
Looking to the future:
Jisc and the University of Greenwich continue to look for ways to include richer engagement data in the data explorer dashboards, including how students use the VLE (Moodle), reading lists and social media platforms as they work.
“It’s a great leap forward to be able to have conversations with students that are informed on both sides by data. Greater mutual understanding of a student’s situation allows us to target guidance and support”
Colin Allen, director of student experience, faculty of business, University of Greenwich
We look forward to hearing from you
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