Center for Student Analytics Hosts First Student Success Analytics Forum

The Utah State University Center for Student Analytics hosted two new forums in which it discussed how student data is used to yield student success outcomes. Both students and faculty were invited to participate in the forum and learn about the research that the center conducts to examine the impact of different university programs on student success.

More than forty-five students attended the first Analytics Forum and provided the analytics team with positive feedback about the format and openness of the event.

“I was extremely impressed with the student-facing programs in regard to the work that the Center for Student Analytics has performed,” said USU student Wayne Montgomery.

At the first forum, Mitchell Colver discussed the effects of curriculum complexity on student persistence. Curriculum complexity is a measurement of the flexibility of a degree program as determined by the number of prerequisite and corequisite courses in the degree map. In the data, Colver found that four-year plans with lower complexity led to timelier completion of the degree programs. Colver noted that as USU departments work to reduce non-essential complexity in their degree programs, they will see an increase in student persistence and graduation.

At the second analytics forum, Data Scientist Brayden Ross talked about his use of sentiment analysis in quantifying the effects of teacher feedback on student perceptions of the course. Ross found that teachers who respond with positive, encouraging feedback to their students’ submissions will, regardless of student performance, have higher IDEA survey ratings than teachers who do not.

Undergraduate researcher Hayden Hoopes also discussed his research on the effects of using the Aggie Recreation Center on student persistence. His research indicated that students who used the ARC at least once experienced a 1.15% increase in their likelihood to persist to the next semester. In other words, because so many students use the ARC, this means that roughly 130 students who were otherwise expected to leave the institution remained enrolled per semester, as a result of the holistic benefits of using the ARC.

While the monthly Forums will be put on hiatus during the summer, the analytics team hopes to host similar in-person events, once appropriate, this coming Fall. For more information on the Center for Student Analytics, visit www.usu.edu/ais/analytics.

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