Predictive Modelling for Tertiary Education – that’s long hand for HE Analytics

Update: Analytics Resources from Jisc March 2013

Back in February I hatched a plan with my colleagues at the excellent Jisc CETIS. We’d heard a good deal about Big Data, Data Mining and the analyses thereof with promises of the grail of accurate predictions to help, well, all sorts of familiar scenarios. We felt that Analytics for HE was an area we could work together on to help the UK Tertiary Education Sector out with this emerging field.

So, without dwelling on the effort and orchestration from Jisc CETIS and a plethora of experts and researchers, along came the Analytics Recon – an in house title for a piece that emerged as the Jisc CETIS Analytics Series in November 2012. The Jisc Observatory is one way in which the we anticipate and respond to projected future trends and scenarios in the context of the use of technology in Higher & Further Education in the UK. It now has an Analytics Tab that takes you to The Series, a set of resources offering a snap shot of analytics as of late 2012. There you’ll find a synopsis and a diagram of the resources but I’ll repeat a different version here courtesy of Sheila MacNeill

Overview of the JISC CETIS Analytics Series

There are 11 papers in total. Before I duck into the papers themselves let me highlight two things.

1. The Jisc Communications Team and I wrote an Analytics briefing for managers entitled Analyse ‘big data’ to run your institution more effectively. It’s a quick and jargon free overview of the area for managers with links to the detail. You might want to use it with yours to gain time / resource to get involved in The Series.
http://bit.ly/jiscanalyticsbriefing

2. The Blogs. We came to realise that Analytics is new, so new in fact that the area would really benefit from discussion. To that end Jisc CETIS colleagues decided to blog as each paper is released. The idea is we offer expert opinion on the papers and related issues / events highlighting strengths and weaknesses and reflecting on what it means to them. We encourage you to note your own thoughts and comment our blogs or blog back at us. In this way we hope to identify themes and issues to bear in mind for future interventions be they via JISC or elsewhere.

So to the papers themselves. Starting at the top of the diagram Sheila put together an overview of the others entitled ‘Analytics; What is Changing and Why does it Matter?’ It’s fairly short and snappy and a good place for the reader to begin. I have a few hard copies available and would happily post these out if you get in touch.

Then to the right we have the Big Issues. These papers take each of the core business aspects for Tertiary Education and explore the issues and opportunities; Whole Institution, Teaching and Learning, Research, Legal Risks and Ethical.

To the left are our two practice papers showcasing case studies from the Open University and Bolton University along with some practical considerations.

The last two Post it Notes cover the technology itself and a set of three papers on history and context.

The papers are being released at a rate of around two a week into January 2013. I’d encourage you to get involved by reading them yourself or nominating a colleague and blog back at us so we can all benefit. These aren’t the solution to Analytics in HE. They’re a snapshot of what we found. If you have more to add do let us know.

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