SHARING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LEARNER ANALYTICS DASHBOARDS FOR WAP PLANNING, EVALUATION & SOCIAL GAIN, ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT DURING COVID-19 AS STUDENTS ARE FORCED TO SPEND MORE TIME OFF CAMPUS
Ulster University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The Widening Access and Participation (WAP) Policy and Research Unit has responsibility for ensuring that the University meets its statutory commitments for WAP.
A key remit each academic year is to analyse data and provide interactive dashboards to help stakeholders more easily interpret the wealth of data available internally and/or in the public domain to make data-informed WAP decisions.
COVID-19 poses new challenges for Higher Education as students are spending more time off campus. Many Universities like Ulster University already collect a range of Learning Analytics data associated with a student which can help better understand them and their progress.
During this session, presenters will demonstrate how Ulster University is using such data to better understand their students and to provide timely and effective support mechanisms. We have had to adapt many approaches during the COVID-19 crisis and data has helped us make key decisions.
Where WAP inequities are found the response may be a number of the following:
• financial, access, outreach or retention initiative monitored within the annual WAP Plan;
• supportive measures through quality enhancement;
• staff awareness, pedagogy design or curriculum development;
• technology solution; and
• mentoring support.
Each year dashboards are created using new data sources and agile approaches to support business needs on demand. A collaborative and partnership approach is adopted, to understand the data needs of stakeholders.
This interactive oral presentation will share practice and will showcase a range of new interactive WAP dashboards which have been created at Ulster by connecting available internal and external data sources.
It will consider key design challenges, new COVID-19 related challenges, digital wellbeing of learners, online safety, privacy/ethical barriers, data protection, opportunities to support student success and lessons learned. It will also share plans for the next stages of data development at Ulster and will illustrate some new demands for geographical data in response to COVID-19, such as travel time to/fro campus, technology needs etc. Whilst it is important to ensure that data is used responsibly and that individuals are protected, JISC have recommended “If data can be used for social good, look for opportunities to share it in a way that will provide social gains.” (2019).
Ulster University’s main goal when designing dashboards is to guide educational interventions that supports students and maximises their success, ultimately resulting in learning gain. A range of WAP data has now been connected and displayed visually with interactive filters, to help staff better support students throughout their learner journey from pre-entry, through their studies at Ulster and into employment.
During the session presenters will:
•demonstrate how data helps guide WAP educational interventions at Ulster University measurable by improved student success
•ensure delegates understand the methods adopted by Ulster University to develop agile interactive dashboards, and compare practice with practices elsewhere.
•promote discussion between delegates and consider different ways the sector can benefit from sharing practice for social gains as recommended by JISC regarding evidence-based ways of making data-informed decisions for WAP.
This session should appeal to anyone interested in using data and interactive dashboards for WAP decision-making.
Keywords: WAP Data, Interactive Dashboards, Data visualisation, Learner analytics, COVID-19, Digital wellbeing, Online safety, Learning gain and evaluation.