Progression Analysis at Waterford Institute of Technology

This study was conceived as part of a broader effort on the part of the Institute to understand with greater clarity the profile of the student body and specifically to identify factors that may negatively impact on student retention and progression. The institution also sought to build a more robust evidence base on which to plan proactive initiatives designed to address retention and progression issues at institutional, department, course and module level. In particular, they recognised the need for a more evidence-based understanding of the retention and progression challenges at module and programme level in order to inform more effective and targeted deployment of resources by faculty and by central services at the earliest possible stage in the programme lifecycle.

UL’s Student Engagement and Success Unit (SESU)

Recognising the impact of attrition on students, UL tracked the rates for first years over a seven-year period (2005-2013) and identified an increase in attrition averaging 13%. In addition to the costs and missed opportunities incurred by students that leave college early, this pattern also represented a significant loss of revenue to the University. In order to fully understand the issues impacting on first year UL students,
the University sought to identify best practices to support first year engagement both inside and outside the classroom, to leverage the value of learner data as a resource, to identify students at risk of withdrawing prematurely and to develop an effective and meaningful Student Engagement Policy.

Letterkenny IT Digital Attendance Monitoring System

LYIT continuously strives to enhance the experience of its students. A key goal in this process is to improve student retention, in which in-class attendance has been found to play a significant role. Attendance was traditionally recorded on a paper-based system, with data being manually compiled and digitised. This proved to be both cumbersome and time consuming. Recognising that retention reporting would be best served by a user-friendly approach that would eliminate the need for paper-based documents, allow the creation
of records for lecturers and the transfer of data to administration staff for timely reporting, senior managers within LYIT sought the development of a bespoke digital attendance monitoring system.

Analytics Policy Development in IT Blanchardstown

IT Blanchardstown has long recognised the value of data for enabling an evidence-based approach to decision-making. Given an increasing interest in maximising the power of that data, but cognisant of the importance of using it in an ethical and sustainable way, the need was established for an institute-wide policy and strategy that would set boundaries and guidelines for operationalising learning analytics initiatives. It was a necessary first step in ensuring appropriate use of student data for learning analytics, and to collaboratively define
a roadmap for next steps in implementing data enabled student success initiatives.

Assessment Analytics at DCU

Coordinating module assessments across a semesterised programme is a recognised challenge of semesterised programmes. Within this context, DCU found that lecturers working independently to design and manage their module assignments could lead to a lack of coordination across programmes, potentially leading to an increase in student anxiety, particularly at key times. Responding to this challenge, and recognising the value of assessment data as a means of understanding students’ progress through their programme, DCU set out to develop a means of capturing, analysing and reporting on assessment data in order to effectively manage students’ workloads and to maximise the value of learner data as a resource for identifying students at risk of non-progression.

CIT Faculty Dashboard

This institutional approach…
…is based in Cork Institute of Technology.
…was developed in-house.
…involved the creation of a dashboard which continuously gathers a range of data to inform institutional decision making.
…has been shown to have considerable strategic value.