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Big Data and Higher Education


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Big Data and Higher Education originally appeared on datascience@berkeley and was produced in conjunction with the launch of Education and Skills 2.0: New Targets and Innovative Approaches, a new book from the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Education and Skills.

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Big Data and Higher Education

  1. 1. BIG DATA & HIGHER EDUCATION “Today, digital innovation is driving unprecedented change across the education sector. In doing so, it has the potential to both improve student learning outcomes and expand access to high-quality education opportunities in ways that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago...” — From Education and Skills 2.0: New Targets and Innovative Approaches The Higher Education Online Landscape 6.7 MILLION $91 BILLION Number of students who took an online course in 2011 The investment in online education in 2012 Technological innovations are transforming both what happens in the college classroom, as well as how students are supported in the admissions process and enrollment. At scale, higher education’s migration to online will redefine what it means to provide a great education to students. According to Babson Survey Research Group, as of 2012, all but 13.5% of institutions had some online offerings. 86.5% 34.5% 2002 Universities offering online degree programs 62.4% nearly doubled from 2012 2002 to 2012. 22.1% 2002 Nonprofit institutions with online degree programs 48.4% more than doubled from 2002 to 2012. 2012 How Education Benefits From More Data While these investments create new competition in the market, a focus on the market overlooks the potential educational value generated from these investments. Online education is producing vast amounts of data on student learning outcomes, data of the sort that was previously unavailable to students and educators. It will allow academic institutions to better deliver and market their degrees to the right type of students. And it will let students personalize their educational experience to best suit their needs, increasing the chance they graduate and succeed after. Help predict student success Improve graduation rates and student retention DATA FROM ONLINE EDUCATION CAN: Determine what a learner does and does not know Monitor a student’s behavior and level of engagement Notify a professor when learner is getting off track, bored, or frustrated Increase engagement via game mechanics Personalize the learning process RESEARCHERS WITH THIS DATA CAN IDENTIFY AND ANALYZE PATTERNS TO: Reduce classroom administrative work Help faculty refine content to keep relevant Facilitate both global and local community development Measure student performance beyond test scores The Four Categories of Educational Data Online education generates a wide variety of data, which universities can use to improve the student learning experience. These data include: TRADITIONAL DATA NEW DATA USER INTERACTION IDENTITY Name Engagement metrics Administrative rights Time on page School district or university Bounce rates Permissions Demographic information INFERRED CONTENT Do different segments of a class perform differently on an assessment? SYSTEM-WIDE Rosters Do tailored questions and question types improve learning outcomes for different groups? Grades Disciplinary records Attendance information Does the question actually assess what it is supposed to? Challenges to Institutions Universities and colleges must overcome the following challenges to take advantage of the new types of data that online education offers. Education has historically been very labor-intensive Historically slow to change Innovation is nearly always incremental Success in education is difficult to measure Need for broadband Internet access may leave out unconnected households Inadequate technology infrastructure may slow institutional adoption The Players Outside vendors, both for profit and nonprofit, are moving into the higher educational space, a space that was historically left to colleges and universities. MOOCs – University – Backed Enablers Coursera Udacity MOOC2Degree iTunesU edX Saylor Foundation The Open University OpenupEd 2U MOOCs – For Profit Embanet Blackboard Everspring Deltak For – Profits Traditional Non-Traditional Capella AltiusEd University of Phoenix American Honors College London School of Business and Finance Minerva University of Atlanta Walden California Southern University Devry 1 2 3 Global Agenda Council on Education and Skills, "Education and Skills 2.0: New Targets and Innovative Approaches," 2014. 4 5 created by: oBizMedia