Big Data Analytics Driving Higher Education in the Classroom

The enhanced focus on data has organizations from virtually every sector putting their own personal sets of information under a microscope. Advances in technology has provided us with all new ways to collect and interpret data from diverse sources. The educational field is one of numerous sectors turning to big data analytics to extract new value and opportunities from the bits of knowledge around them.

Twofold Benefits

For the most part, big data analytics benefits education from two perspectives: the ability to sift through mountains of data and discover new patterns, metrics, and opportunities, and the ability to apply insights to specific learning endeavors. Let’s take a look at a few benefits that can be unlocked on each side of the education coin:

Exploring Educational Data

Identifying optimal learning environments. The internet has opened the doors to all new learning environments. By making comparisons in different sets of data, educators can determine which environments are getting the best results right down to the exact features.

Engagement level. Student engagement in the classroom has traditionally been difficult to gauge. Looking at the right metrics can tell educators which students are in engaged and why.

Topic expertise. Many students excel at certain topics, and struggle with others. The ability to drill deeply into data can help educators find out how individual students are fairing with specific topics.

Using Data in the Classroom

Grade predictions. Analytics can be useful in anticipating various actions in the classroom. For instance, based on past efforts, a teacher may be able to predict what grade a student is most likely to receive on an upcoming test.

Red flags. Whether it’s a grade in high school or a course at the college level, rarely is failing the result of a single test. Analytics can give educators the insights needed to see when a student is at risk for failure.

Advancement readiness. School districts with low test scores have to be cautious not to advance students before they’re ready. With analytics, it’s possible to determine exactly when a student is ready to move on to a given course or topic.

Tips For Educational Leaders

Big data analytics has the potential to make the learning system more efficient for students and schools alike. However, with storage costs, data compatibility issues, and personnel shortages looming, this field is arguably more challenged than others. We’ll leave with you with a few suggestions teachers and administrators can use to make the most of big data analytics is education.

Identify specific needs. Big data analytics is being used to drive a wide variety of decisions. Before implementing a given solution, educational institutions must figure out which problems they need it to solve.

Lean on IT. By now, most educational institutions have a fully functioning IT department. These departments must be instrumental in developing standards for data collection and usage.

Choose solutions wisely. When it comes to the big data analytics market, there are a number of vendors offering a number of different solutions. Educational institutions would be wise to do their “homework” in thoroughly researching the vendor’s track record to make sure they choose the best solution for their needs.

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