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Thursday, June 23 • 10:30 - 11:20
CON05.16 - Supporting the Use of Academic Analytics to Improve Teaching and Learning

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Academic analytics have become increasingly important as universities grapple with challenges of retention and student success (Campbell, DeBlois, and Oblinger, 2007). Using available student data, institutions are able to develop sophisticated models predicting who is most likely to succeed and struggle at their institution. The challenge is how best to support the use of analytics to improve student success across the institution. Academic analytics on many campuses have been used to develop early alert, orientation, transition, and intervention strategies for students at-risk, but many have reported struggles with individual faculty and programs using data to inform course and program renewal. In fact, several studies report faculty skepticism and uncertainty about using such data to inform changes to teaching, learning, and curriculum practices (Andrade, 2011; Dykoff, 2011; Parry, 2012).

Dalhousie University has been working on an institution-wide academic analytics project to better understand student success and retention issues on campus. This workshop will briefly outline the process for initiating an institutional academic analytics project and some initial results at Dalhousie, and outline steps taken to support teaching and learning interventions using analytics data. The workshop will use cases (with hypothetical data and scenarios) to engage the workshop participants in four key conversations around: the ethical use of analytics data; using analytics data to inform individual course redesign; using analytics data to support curriculum renewal at the program level; and using analytics data to support Faculty or Institutional conversations about teaching and learning. Finally, the workshop will end by exploring strategies to ensure the readiness of individuals (for example, educational developers) who might be tasked with supporting the use of academic analytics. Participants will leave with a basic understanding of academic analytics and a deeper understanding of challenges and good practices in supporting the use of analytics to improve teaching and learning.

avatar for Brad Wuetherick

Brad Wuetherick

Executive Director, Learning and Teaching, Dalhousie University
Brad Wuetherick is the Executive Director, Learning and Teaching at Dalhousie University, and is an active researcher in teaching and learning in higher education in areas including undergraduate research, educational development, SOTL, facilitating change in teaching and learning... Read More →

Additional Authors

Don Fiander

Don Fiander is the Acting Executive Director of Dalhousie Analytics, and is the other co-lead for the Data Analysis Subcommittee of the Dalhousie Retention and Student Success project.

Sandy Walde

Sandra Walde is the Associate Dean Academic in the Faculty of Science at Dalhousie University, and a professor of Biology. She is the co-lead for the Data Analysis Subcommittee of the Dalhousie Retention and Student Success project.

Thursday June 23, 2016 10:30 - 11:20 EDT
Weldon Library 121 (Teaching Support Centre) Western University