Practical Analytics

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In 2015 we ran our practical analytics project.  As well as using feedback from student activity to improve course design we also ran a number of events. You can view the blogs where videos of many of these events are available. www.practicalanalytic.wordpress.com.

One major achievement from the project was how Kat Daley from Global Urban and Social Studies was able to improve her online course delivery in Research Methods to a point where online students began achieving overall higher grades than the face-to-face group. From the report:

Lecturer Kat Daley was able to measure how an intervention in her online delivery could impact on students’ performance. After consistently lower performance from her online  group, Kat introduced the following interventions in her online delivery:

  • Use of the suite of Google Apps (Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Communities)
  • Integrated via one platform (Communities)
  • Students have access to a Drive folder, but links are also embedded everywhere
  • Materials distributed strategically throughout the week (Saturday, Tuesday & Thurs)
  • Students have a preparatory test on reading, then the lecture, then a weekly task

By using the TTM (Task Test Monitor) software with both the online and face-to-face student groups , Kat was able to give an equivalent feedback method. The following benefits ensued:

  • Students were engaging with each other, increasing lateral discussion
  • Once students learned how to use Google Apps, it was easy to use
  • Everything in one place (except for Turnitin)
  • Live documents and conversations made the forum feel like a  community’
  • Most significantly, this semester was the first ever where online students out-performed face-to-face students 

Further analysis is required to understand which aspects of the intervention were most successful in enabling this outcome. A summary of Kat’s methodology can be found in the appendices. You can read the full report here.

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