SchoolVision Blog

Why All Data isn't Created Equal in Higher Ed.

Jun 18, 2018 3:17:17 PM / by SM Pack

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Research proves time and again, utilizing hard data will enhance outcomes for any company, school, or group looking to optimize performance. One area that has substantial economic and social influence is universities and tech schools, preparing students for future careers and successful endeavors.

Traditionally, schools obtain generic data on student attendance and performance through reports that are not conducive to the whole experience of the student. Although the goal with linear, quantitative data is to ensure students have optimal instruction to improve their learning experience, experts suggest both quantitative and qualitative data must be equally considered for long term positive outcomes.

To achieve this, several data sources are necessary for educators to understand a student’s progress. It is difficult for educators to analyze student progress from a single assignment or test; they need to assess students with a well-informed, collaborative process which is unfortunately a cumbersome task in a classroom environment.

Despite the growing concern of student progress and attendance, this problem is not being addressed, due to the lack of available software that integrates with existing SMS and backend software management systems. Many institutions only rely on instructors to confirm attendance at the beginning of a course for financial aid, which fails to show a comprehensive view of neither the success nor failure of a student.

According to the department of education, the graduation rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor's degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2009 was 59 percent. The rate was 59 percent at public institutions, 66 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and 23 percent at private for-profit institutions. Among those students who did not graduate, 90% state that they did not feel fully engaged in their program or had to hold a full-time job. This suggests that the lack of student participation is largely contingent upon effective career guidance given by the school, as well as the instructors.

According to Anthony Carnevale, Director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, college attendance in the U.S. may largely have to do with the challenges with outreach and resources faced by community colleges, which often struggle to provide support to students.

“Most people would say higher education is not connected to the economy, which is not true,” Carnevale said. “The Higher-Ed curriculum is very oriented toward the economy it’s just not connected strongly enough, as a counseling and career-planning system.”


Providing quality data with multiple reporting methods is key.

Utilizing the appropriate reports, teachers can use a wealth of data to identify problem areas of student learning and take appropriate steps to remedy the situation to prevent drops. The correct reports can also identify the overall academic requirements with a comprehensive overview of their goals. These same systems also train educators in critical areas such as professional learning and teaching cycles, as well as the response of students to academic intervention.

SV enhances the academic experience by closing gaps in communication among students, instructors, staff, and alumni. Who thought it was possible to use the same administrative reporting data to enhance the academic experience? A software system that encourages more interaction with students and instructors without any extra effort or change is becoming more of a solution.

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Tags: Student Management System, Institution Management, Higher Education, Technology Trends, Time Management

SM Pack

Written by SM Pack