Student engagement: identify an ‘at risk’ student, but what then?
I read with interest a piece on the Jisc website called ‘Retaining students’.
This piece reported that “according to a National Audit Office report, 20% of students in higher and 15% in further education do not complete their studies. Universities and colleges with high student drop-out rates lose government funding…”
…and it went on to comment that…
“…Effective management information can also help institutions retain students. For example, ‘at risk’ students can be identified by tracking those who fail to log in to key services, such as library systems and virtual learning environments”.
It would appear that the HE sector in general is, as highlighted in my earlier blog posts, increasingly looking towards analytical solutions to create management information, in order to spot those students that run the risk of dropping off their course, and possibly leaving the college or university altogether.
It is fair to say however, that within those institutions that recognise the importance of identifying ‘at risk’ students, only a very small minority are even considering what their organisation will do with that valuable and hopefully timely information.
Management information is only useful and valuable if it’s acted upon.
Creating a list of ‘at risk’ students is only useful and valuable, therefore, if the organisation has an effective and efficient process for managing those students. These processes can help the organisation ensure that the student either re-engages or if appropriate, leaves the course and/or organisation to find an option more suited to their needs and abilities.
In short, I believe that analytics and process can go hand-in-hand, to help the higher education sector improve their student engagement and retention and thus gain greater control over their revenue stream.
You can read other higher education blog posts here.