Examining the impact and ethics of tracking students
- NPR interviewed University of Michigan Digital Innovation Greenhouse Director Timothy McKay about the prospects of using data and analytics to customize learning experiences for individual students.
- McKay says that traditional higher education delivers information to a sizable student body and determines the aptitude of each student based on ability to master coursework in a certain time, and within a prescribed way.
- Analytics, he says, help to leave a record of progress in learning beyond the traditional transcript, accounting for how different backgrounds may impact learning and extracting aptitude from preparation or exposure.
Many institutions are developing creative ways to instruct and understand students in a more comprehensive way, but the challenge for most schools is affordability of the technology and ensuring the best fit for their campus profiles.
It is up to college leaders to work closely with IT executives, faculty members, and even students to determine which technologies can add value while not making the learning experience feel intruded upon, or compromising the campus' nurturing feel in the name of pedagogical advancement.