“It is always an honor to be able to join forward-thinking colleagues in a conversation grounded in my passions and oriented towards student success,” Colver said. “I love being able to showcase how the Center for Student Analytics is doing excellent work in this space.”
According to its introduction, Digital2Learn, co-hosted by Brad Garner and Tiffany Snyder, is a podcast “dedicated to exploring both what’s new and what’s good in the use of technology and digital learning. Our mission is to have the best minds sitting in front of our microphones, sharing evidence-based strategies for digital teaching and learning.”
Colver’s interviews focused on USU’s mature use of analytics for higher education decision-making and equity and service to vulnerable students. He also discussed the process of change management and budget advocacy using data and an approach to professional decision-making developed by Colver called “The Innovation Delta.”
The Innovation Delta creates a framework using three sources of information — evaluation, emulation and reflection — to reach a solution. Garner spoke of this decision-making framework saying, “Mitchell was on our campus last year [talking] about The Innovation Delta, which I found particularly thought provoking.” Colver says by considering data with what others have done along with what you think as a professional, the individual can come to the best conclusion to move forward.
Colver’s participation in the podcasts showcased Utah State’s prominence in the field of student success analytics. The Center for Student Analytics has developed a reputation for optimizing professional intentionality through the collaborative use of data.
“Mitchell loves data, but more importantly he loves finding ways to help students succeed by using the data well,” Snyder said about Colver’s interview. “I think that there’s a lot of people in higher education starting to pay attention to what Mitchell has to say.”
One section of the second podcast episode focused on issues relating to current goings on of the COVID-19 pandemic. The USU Center for Student Analytics has shifted its focus to help university faculty members with remote teaching. The center has created the Remote Teaching & Learning Analytics Web Series. With seven sessions already online, Colver and his staff are providing resources and instruction for university faculty to be better prepared for remote teaching.
“People think I’m a data guy, but in actuality I’m in love with human potential,” Colver said. “Data is always secondary to the real decision making that is going on.”