Modelling how to ‘make students attend’

I'd argue that practically no students have perfect attendance. In the focus groups I wrote about in the last post, the students felt that they had good attendance, but it wasn't perfect. They didn't attend for a variety of reasons: because the sessions weren't perceived as interesting enough, they'd prioritising coursework, were ill etc. These …

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Student attendance/ engagement policies – why do we bother?

The 2021/22 academic year was a bit of a surprise for the sector. Students were effectively released from the pressures of lockdown and social distancing and ended up more anxious, more confused and certainly less engaged than at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It may be that students were just catching up on two …

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Student Engagement Literature Review (2010)

<blogging as a filing cabinet> A bit like the hippy search for nirvana (you'll know it when you see it), the term 'student engagement' can be a little vague. I think this is because at times it becomes synonymous with 'student learning' or 'student experience'. I've described a broad definition of student engagement in the …

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A Typology of Student Engagement Activity

Students drop out from their courses for a variety of reasons. Early withdrawal is shaped by Socio-economic forces, students' personal goals/ mission for being at university, the lived experience of studying and sometimes just bad luck. We may not be able to precisely weight these factors, but they appear pretty consistently in studies. The sector …

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Millennials in the virtual church aisles – a thought for universities

A few years ago I was asked the question by the colleague "Is blockchain the future of higher education?" After quite a lot of reading and head scratching I reckoned the answer was "no". However, the question keeps coming back. I still think the answer's "no", only these days it's "***k no". The more I …

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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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