This article talked about colleges and Universities who use software applications to apply the data analytics they are collecting through algorithms that can show students how well they may do in a certain class, what their GPA will probably be based off a handful of factors, and a variety of other things. The data comes especially handy for Universities that receive public funding, as most of the funding is based off graduation and retention rates – not enrollment. This article has a lot of interesting thoughts, because as a student here at Loyola I would like to see some of the same software applications being implemented.
During the first week or so of the semester, we talked about collecting and organizing data into tiers of importance that could be used for a variety of different purposes. At Loyola, it is pretty obvious that their data analytics system is quite behind the 8-ball – Moodle and WebAdvisor seem to rarely be in sync with one another, and there is nothing that students can use to help them visualize their academic career on. Without a doubt, Loyola definitely has the data stored somewhere on a server, but the data seems to be rarely used on campus. In relating back to our first week of classes, most of the data is just being piled into tier 2 and sitting there, unused for its entire life cycle.
Another issue that I personally find very prevalent here at Loyola is that the system is so disorganized that the faculty either do not know how to use it, or do not care to use it. As a result, they turn to other online academic tools that have even less functionality than a client such as Moodle. By implementing some of the tools that this article talks about, I think students would be much more inclined to take certain classes, and make choices that would better suit their long-term academic career (as opposed to just going onto a website such as RateMyProfessor and taking an easy lower-level class that does not adequately prepare them for an upper level class).
At the end of the day, we all know that increasingly helpful applications or pieces of technology are being created for educational purposes. However, without proper implementation and training of these tools, they go to waste alongside the big data that is collected on college campuses in every day life. From a management standpoint, Loyola wants to compete and build a strong reputation for themselves amongst a state that has some particularly great schools such as John Hopkins, Maryland, Towson, Georgetown, the list goes on. A great way to not only attract prospective students but to retain them as well is to implement these academic tools. The big data is out there just sitting on a server somewhere, so why aren’t we using it to it’s full potential for the students to take advantage of?