Contacting Gen Z Students – part II

In the last piece I explained how in our most recent Student Transition Survey (Feb-Mar 2021), we asked students how they would like to be contacted if our learning analytics platform had raised an alert. When presented with a single choice, 32% wanted to be contacted initially by text. We will build this in to …

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Minimising Risk vs Maximising Success: learning analytics intervention strategies

At the other end of the phone is a student. Your learning analytics tool has predicted that they may be at risk of early departure. Under the circumstances they are likely to benefit from a supportive, sympathetic conversation, or perhaps they need a nudge or a jolt to make them realise they need to re-engage. …

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Onwards from Learning Analytics (OfLA)

At the time of writing, we are entering the final year of our latest Erasmus+ collaborative project. Onwards from Learning Analytics (OfLA) is a learning analytics project interested in supporting students at risk of leaving university early or failing to achieve their potential. We don't take the view that students ought to be retained no …

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Moving Student Inductions Online: NTU Welcome Workshop case study

New student induction is a process. Students start their courses with some understanding of what it's going to be like, with a mountain of expectations and plenty of anxieties. Historically, universities often rush the transition process and seek to squeeze it into an administratively convenient week of guest lectures, important messages and introductory events. Of …

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Black Box Thinking – a review and a challenge to universities

This post is a piece of procrastination. And I'm partly writing it because Matthew Syed brilliantly describes a form of procrastination in his excellent book Black Box Thinking, but truthfully I'm just procrastinating because I'm putting off a task that I'm finding difficult. 🙂 The book deserves a better review than this, because I think it's …

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The first year experience of higher education in the UK, Yorke & Longden (2008)

In the Student Retention Research: A History Lesson I discussed the role that Mantz Yorke and Bernard Longden played in developing the field of understanding student persistence in the UK. I really value their model explaining student withdrawal (partly because they use the word 'adventitious'). They suggest that the reasons for withdrawal can be categorised into four groups: …

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Using learning analytics in personal tutorials: breaking into students’ consciousness

The last post was about some of the psychological hurdles that we need to overcome in order for students to realise that they need to change and the one before about the importance for tutors of relationship building and setting short term goals. This short piece is about how the use of learning analytics data …

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Personal Tutoring: strategies for changing student behaviour

Interview with Janette Alvarado-Cruz (@JanetteValezka) July 2019The interview explored issues of strategies for tutors advising students who appeared to be at risk of dropping out or failing to achieve their potential. These questions are core to the OfLA Erasmus+ Project: what do we do from the point where learning analytics (LA) have identified that a …

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Student Retention Research: A History Lesson

Okay the title (and the whole page actually) is a little passive aggressive, but I'm reading lots of retention literature at the moment and I'll be honest, I'm sick of reading "Student retention has been a concern for some time now". A couple of smart colleagues have pointed out that the language used has changed(*) …

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Students in Transition: the challenges of becoming a first year student

I recently wrote a pre-conference workshop for the European First Year Experience Conference called "Arguably the First Year Experience is 109 years old: How up to date are you?"(1) with my colleague Diane Nutt. This post outlines some of theory relevant to anyone seeking to better understand the transitions associated with becoming a first year …

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