Digital transcripts reveal surprising engagement-based outcomes
- Elon University was among the early pioneers of digital transcripts offering a more holistic view of student experiences. And three years after launching its visual experiential student records initiative, university officials told EdSurge that the data shows interesting connections between student performance, demographics and engagement.
- The data revealed that black male students were less likely to participate in co-curricular experiences than their white classmates up until their third year at the university. Students who did participate in one of five tracks (leadership, service, internships, global engagement and undergraduate research) were less likely to leave the university before earning a degree.
- The data also showed student activity across different areas of the university experience. For example, learners were less likely to attend a guest lecture in the winter than during the fall and spring semesters.
These types of student analysis are helpful in a variety of ways, from planning and executing student activities, to changing facility access and support personnel schedules, to improving campus security. All of the elements can help to improve student experiences, which can lead to higher retention and graduation rates as well as alumni support once students leave the institution.
For institutions that may not have the resources to implement the technologies that can spur these analyses, using non-traditional forms of educational technology may be an option. For example, at Middle Tennessee State University, officials improved student outcomes using a system designed for healthcare assessment, which was adapted to monitor student progress and activity. Using technology that can classify students on a scale of academic risk, MTSU deploys resources to students with the greatest needs in academic support.