There are many students who need help in higher education. Lately, I've been thinking about the question, "How do we as school leaders know who needs that help?"
Watch this short 4-minute SmarterReflections video to learn more about how we can answer that question and the tools needed to know which students are in need of assistance.
Don't want to watch the video? No problem! Keep scrolling to read the video summary below.
Just like me, Educause also was curious about that same question. So they conducted a quick research poll. About 142 schools responded to the poll representing 38 states. They asked how school leaders can know which students to serve. From that, the core of the findings was that good data is needed.
More specifically, school leaders said that we need the following types of data to form their decisions:
- Data to inform interventions (79%)
- LMS engagement data (66%)
- Student enrollment metrics – credit load, drop/withdrawal, etc.) (65%)
- Performance metrics (64%)
- Data to inform alerts (61%)
- LMS login/attendance data (61%)
- Quality assurance metrics for faculty (37%)
- Other (9%)
What this survey ultimately revealed was that school leaders need accurate, relevant, current data to inform them about who needs to be helped first.
To combat this issue, there are two tools available in which most of this data is already being collected. The tools include SmarterMeasure and SmarterID.
How SmarterMeasure Helps
SmarterMeasure is a treasure trove of the type of data listed above. Specifically, some of the categories of interventions that students need include technology, financial, emotional, pedagogical, and situational support. Data about each of these things are included in SmarterMeasure data.
For example, SmarterMeasure's "Technology" section of the assessment, students are asked to report on if they own a computer. If so, they are prompted to answer questions about how well that computer operates, what operating system that computer running, how they connect it to the internet, and so on. All of these things are key data points that can quickly inform the school about which students are on the disadvantaged side of the digital divide.
Students also need financial support. The SmarterMeasure assessment includes four optional questions that can be added to the "Life Factors" section in which the student reports about their financial situation.
Emotional support is also key to succeeding. SmarterMeasure has several factors that relate to this including locus of control and willingness to ask for help.
Pedagogical support needed for students as well. SmarterMeasure helps schools collect data about their student's time management skills, their tendency towards procrastination, their previous academic fields, and others along that line.
Lastly, students need situational support. Data is collected through the SmarterMeasure assessment from the student about their appropriateness of the place that they study and the degree to which they have support from their family/employers.
All of these things are rich data points that schools can use to identify students who are at-need and need to be reached out to. The challenge for school leaders is that these students are no longer on campus, so how do you know that your remote students are struggling? This data points to that.
How SmarterID Helps
SmarterID, a system that uses facial recognition during the course, not just during an exam to authenticate students, also has attendance data, can also assist in helping school leaders know which students they need to reach out to.
Recently, some of our clients said that they "really like SmarterServices' attendance heat map better than the engagement reports that we get from the LMS."
Because SmarterID is triggered by students' level of activity in the LMS, it produces this report which shows by date the degree to which all of the students are active in the course. This is a very easy view and visually able to interpret data that shows school leaders which students are engaged and which are not.
So, how do you know which students need immediate assistance? By utilizing the SmarterMeasure and SmarterID services, institutions can receive accurate, relevant, and current data to help them make informed decisions about whom to help first.
If your students need support during this time of crisis or if you would like to schedule a free demo of these services, please click here to reach out to us, and we'd be happy to help.