Big Data in the University

2253124053_d0e973a693_nby Angela Guess

Joe Raimondo of Information Week recently wrote, “Tim McKay isn’t intimidated by big data. The professor of physics at the University of Michigan, along with his colleagues, analyzes data sets on 200 million galaxies at one time. McKay also spends a lot of time working on an analytics problem back here on Earth: How can a university use data to assess how students are doing in class, and then use digital platforms to provide tailored feedback to keep them on track? Colleges and universities nationwide are wrestling with how to best use analytics to gauge and improve student performance and retention. McKay characterizes the problem with the status quo this way: ‘I am now teaching an introductory class with 480 students enrolled. I interact closely with 12 of them’.”

He goes on, “McKay says the answer might look something like E2Coach. It’s a digital platform that delivers messages to students based on their grades and scores coming into a course, their majors, their current study habits and their recent test grades in the course. An engineering student with a deep math background who aced AP physics in high school and got an A on the first exam in a class gets one set of advice; a liberal arts major with a weak math background and a C- on the first exam gets another. E2Coach even predicts the grade a student will get unless he or she does something differently.”

Read more here.

photo credit: jjoroson

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