SCUP Links
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SCUP Links
Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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Actionable Analytics | Inside Higher Ed

Actionable Analytics | Inside Higher Ed | SCUP Links |

"And this is what concerns me as I listen to the growing number of conversations about big data in academe: lots of smart people, both in and around higher education, who advocate for the numbers but who may (or may not) know or understand the critical nuances that provide insight into the numbers.

Let me be clear: this is not an argument against big data. Like you, esteemed reader, I’m painfully aware that much of what is often offered as evidence in campus planning and policy discussions is really based on opinion or epiphany. Consequently I’m advocating for the thoughtful use of big data and the need to attend to nuance as part of the effort to bring big data analytics – actionable analytics – to academe."

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A 'Moneyball' Approach to College - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education

A 'Moneyball' Approach to College - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education | SCUP Links |

"Getting data down to frontline students and instructors like this marks a shift for an industry that often focuses on pushing numbers up to accreditors and trustees, says Mark Milliron, formerly of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which backs college data-mining.

'I know more about my 11-year-old son's sixth-grade basketball team than the average college faculty member knows about their incoming class, in terms of key variables that are going to make them successful or not successful,' he adds. 'It is a sin that that is the case.'

Today, half of students quit college before earning a credential. Proponents feel that making better use of data to inform decisions, known as "analytics," can help solve that problem while also improving teaching.

But skeptics worry that data-mining fosters a factory-line approach to education, one that wrings efficiency out of the existing system rather than reinventing it in a digital era."

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WCET Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework Project Delivers Millions of Course Records for Review and Analysis

"Landmark multi-institutional federated online learning database results in over 640,000 student and 3,000,000 federated course-level records from six unique institutions."

This is worth paying attention to. What an interesting set of collaborators:

"The WCET member institutions engaged in the PAR Framework project include American Public University System (, Colorado Community College System (, Rio Salado College (, University of Hawaii System (, University of Illinois Springfield ( and the University of Phoenix ( Each institution obtained IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval. All data was anonymized and encrypted to ensure that no data are personally identifiable."

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