Our hypothesis is that by harvesting user activity (usage and attention) data that already resides in existing institutional systems, combining it with demographic information and presenting it in a single portal-type application, we can improve our support services by revealing new information, providing students, tutors and student support officers with a broader picture of a student’s engagement with the University at both an academic and social level.
Furthermore, being able to predict students at risk of dropping out, based on lack of engagement, will enable us to develop targeted personalised interventions appropriate to the type and level of non-engagement, and do so in a more joined-up and timely manner.
We plan to evaluate our hypothesis over three time periods:
INTERIM: Qualitative: Feedback on perceived value from students and staff through focus groups
PILOT: Qualitative / Quantative: Feedback from staff and students on actual value through focus groups; usage statistics
LONG-TERM: Quantative: Analysis of retention rates; NSS scores
At the end of the project we will add to this post, summarising the evidence we have gathered during the project and reflecting on whether we think the hypothesis has been successfully tested.