Conversation

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From September 2019, the University of Northampton will be introducing the LEARN student analytics dashboard. LEARN stands for Learner Engagement, Attendance and Retention at Northampton, and is designed to help our students have a clearer picture of how they are engaging with their academic studies. In turn, this will help our Personal Tutors to be better able to support student success and to identify where additional support might be required.

The dashboard will only be available to UoN students on the Foundation Study Framework, and in Level 4 and Level 5, studying in Northampton.

What does the dashboard show?

Students will be able to see how well they are engaging across a number of different digital feeds, including their physical attendance on campus, their digital engagement through NILE, and their use of physical and digital resources. The dashboard will enable students to choose to see how their engagement compares with that of their peers on the same programme and with the same study mode. It will also display information on assessment grades so that Personal Tutors can support achievement over the duration of the year.

During 1:1 meetings with their Personal Tutors, students will be able to identify actions that will enhance their prospects of success and agree a plan of action with their Tutor. LEARN can be used to keep a student-facing record of that meeting and any agreed actions, which can be subsequently updated either by the student or the Tutor, once completed. Professional Services teams will have access to LEARN, but will have no expectation to update information as this responsibility sits with the student or the Tutor.

It is important to remember that while the digital dashboard provides the starting point for a more informed, coaching-style conversation with the student around their engagement, it does not tell the whole story and nor will any decisions be made in respect of the student on the basis of the dashboard information alone. Staff interested in learning more about how to have effective coaching conversations with students are encouraged to attend the C@N-DO workshop: Coaching for Success.

Future Developments

The University is currently working with the dashboard provider, Solutionpath, to increase the functionality within LEARN to enable a real-time assessment feed at item level, ensure increased accuracy over physical attendance recording and develop a module-by-module view that gives a more granular overview of how students are engaging with their studies. Students who are on placement, or who are away from University for personal or health reasons, can be marked as exempt, to stop them receiving alerts from within LEARN during this time.

Training and Use by Staff

Alongside the dashboard, the University project team has been developing and revising the associated business processes that will enable the dashboard to be used efficiently and effectively. Training for academic staff who will be undertaking the Personal Tutor role for FSF, Level 4 or 5 students, or student-facing Professional Services colleagues will be available from October.

Image credits: Image by Paul Michael Hughes Photography T 07790819111 UK E pmh@paulmichaelhughes.com W www.paulmichaelhughes.com