Big data is poised to have a big impact on the education sector if it’s properly leveraged. It can provide numerous new and exciting ways for educators to teach their students, improve their understanding of each individual experience with their students, and help them better modify the education system to be appropriate for each learning experience. This is already being used in Georgia State University in Atlanta. These are the main 5 ways that the education sector can be affected by big data.
1) Big Data and Student Results
Big data can be used in the educational system to help improve the results of each student; that’s the primary use for big data. At this point in time, the best and only real measurement of how students perform is how they answer on exams and assignments. The reality is though, that during a student’s life they will leave behind them a data trail that is unique to each student. By using this data and looking at it in real-time, educators can get a better overall view of how students behave and what the best learning environment is for each student.
With big data in this field, student actions are monitored, for example how they study for exams, what resources they consult, how long each question takes to answer, what they skip, and much more. These questions can be analyzed in real-time and students can get feedback right away on their performance.
Classroom education is intended to be a welcoming, engaging environment that pushes each student to challenge themselves in a safe place. “Big data can help with this, by tracking habits, practices, and sharing with educators how to best encourage and challenge each student, and what their hidden qualities are or what areas need more help”, says Joshua Cheatham, a data manager at Studydemic and Big Assignments.
2) Big Data, Customization, and Personalization
Big data can help create customized and personalized programs for each student, regardless of how many students are at a specific school or university. This is possible because of blended learning which is a mix of online and offline learning, and each student can have their own individual learning plan. Students can work at the best that works best for them and attend the classes they truly want to, but still have access to professors and guidance. This is already happening with certain machine learning classes that are currently being offered throughout the world, with as many as 100,000 students.
Big data and customization are especially useful for those subjects that are very niche, and where there are few sources, references, and even awareness of a topic. This is the area that big data can really step in and improve, by collecting academic patterns of students, then putting it all together and analyzing the results to improve these fields of learning that are more exclusive. This helps increase awareness and can expand the circle of knowledge about that particular topic, as well as improve research possibilities.
With customization, there is more flexibility for students to select only the modules they want to learn, how much time they want to dedicate to a lecture, and when they want to take tests. This means that custom learning pathways makes learning more accessible to each student instead of following one strict, traditional model. These are more effective, especially with online forums and social media, which allows more communication between students and teachers.
3) Big Data and Attendance Rates
Because the student results would be improving due to big data, as we’ve previously seen, dropout rates would also be reduced. Colleges and universities can use big data for predictive analytics and give them actionable information on student outcomes. This can help school run analysis on new course programs to see if they would be successful instead of having to run it by trial and error. Big data can even be used to observe student performances in the job market once they’ve graduated so that they can improve their programs and see what aspects of a course to address. Future students will find it easier to choose the college and course that’s best for them.
Big data can monitor how students are performing, whether or not there are graded exams in the course. This helps educators improve each course and find what parts of the curriculum were better received than others. This is not easy to do presently, specifically for the first couple of years when the class sizes are so big. The pass/fail rate is just a small glimpse into how students are doing, but doesn’t tell the whole story.
Course creators can use internet-based learning and monitor different data points such as how many times a video or text is viewed and how long each student spends on every question. “This helps them tweak the course to clarify certain points, for example, if students are constantly reviewing the same slide it might mean something isn’t clear and can be reworded. Education is traditionally slower at adapting than other industries, but big data can really help it evolve and create a true education revolution”, explains James Allee, a tech writer at Revieweal and Academized.
4) Big Data and International Students
Big data can help educational institutions better predict international applicants and predict who will apply in general. They can also gain more in-depth information about the factors that might impact the application process as a whole. This kind of information can help institutions modify the way they run their recruitment and also better use their funds. They can reach out to the students they want to have attend their institution and have the right promotional information available to target who they want.
This data will also help students get better information about different schools, which makes it easier for international students to find the right school and apply successfully. Smarter and more prepared students can find the right school and then positively impact society upon graduation.
5) Big Data and Quality of Education
Big data can improve the overall quality of education in real-time if educators are noticing that the students are struggling to grasp a certain lesson. The big data trail can help educators update and keep their teaching methods current and engaging, modify assignments and tests on the fly, and become as generalized or specific as needed for each situation. Big data would therefore be improving the quality of the learning in each class before personalization even comes into play.
Big data can also help the educational system move away from its older, traditional methods of routine and uniformity, methods that did not allow for creativity. Students can be more engaged with the content of their assignments instead of having to work on things that are not interesting of relevant. The data trail can help educators create content that isn’t limited to the traditional boundaries of classroom learning. In this new system, students will be encouraged to create, innovate, and even own their educational journey.
This article shows us that there are a lot of areas where big data can enhance and revolutionize the educational sector. Some of these changes are already starting to take place, so it will be exciting to see where big data takes us.