A disruption of the education system is needed in many ways, and big data may provide solutions to a number of antiquated education system issues. The benefits of big data can also benefit teachers, students, and educational institutions as a whole.
According to an article published in the International Journal of Computer Applications, “Technology is strengthening the capabilities of institutions to face the new challenges. Higher education has access to realms of data which can be used to improve decision making. The use of Big Data and analytics in higher education is relatively new area.”
Big data can serve up some big time opportunities, like providing facts about education experience, evaluation models, and the overall health of a system itself. The following is a quick list of how big data and analytics can make an impact.
Big Data can Improve Retention Rates
Using big data and complex analytics can make a sizable impact on the retention rates of students at the primary and higher education levels. For instance, data can provide administrators with predictive insight to better prepare students better and mitigate dropouts.
Data like this can also paint a clearer picture about a degree or course prior to it being implemented into curriculum. This can reduce potential issues before a program ever reaches a student. For example, maybe some college programs are not aligned with the need of the students at a specific university. So instead of resources being wasted, administrators can simply use the data and decide if the program is worth implementing.
Big Data can Improve Student Outcomes
The education system needs to be more student focused. After all, that is why the education system exists in the first place. By leveraging data and key analytics, administrators can now increase student outcomes and see improved results. The traditional method of standardized tests is simply not working out.
We now know that students learn and retain information in different ways, and big data can help students, teachers, and education system administrators identify those learning styles and serve up learning that makes sense.
For example, data on how long students take to answer exam questions, study resources used, total time to take a test, and other key data points can all be compiled and curated via platforms and businesses like the ReedGroup. This ultimately leads to better student outcomes and a higher level of academic prowess in the generations to come.
Big Data can Improve Program/Course Customization
This is a big one, since having a successful program or course is tethered to the number of students who attend and how many find the learning material useful. Big data can make this happen. For instance, a customized program can be developed for each individual student, even on the macro level, since data and analytics can be easily curated and funneled for the most desirable action.
Online courses offered by universities are a good example of this. No longer are courses subject to seating. Thousands of students can take MOOCs, customized for them, and paired with the ability for the student to learn at his or her own pace.
“In our survey, the overwhelming majority of people who complete MOOCs report career or educational benefits, and a substantial proportion report tangible benefits such as getting a new job, starting a business, or completing prerequisites for an academic program,” according to a Harvard Business Review article.
This can have a big impact on multiple facets of the current education system as big data is used more effectively.
Big Data can Improve Career Paths
It is getting more difficult for students to find the right career path, especially coming out of high school. Choosing the wrong route can be costly, since college tuition rates are high, and changing your educational horse mid-race can cause you to almost start from scratch. Not to mention frustrating.
Big data and leveraging analytics can help move students toward a career path that they want to pursue, as well as one that will be of interest down the road. A more enthusiastic student will also help keep retention rates higher, and keep the data coming in.
In Conclusion . . .
Will big data be the magic bullet for the education system? Probably not 100 percent a magic bullet, but using cutting edge technology and data can certainly be the catalyst for positive change. The above are not all the disrupting factors, but a few that are tangible in the very near future, if not already in place now. How do you think data will impact the education system?