League for Innovations 2015, Day 3

ETS has some powerful data gathering tools.

They have identified the factors tied to student performance; they have even broken down the degree to which each of those factors impacts GPAs and persistence; and they have developed surveys that target these factors.  As the speaker just noted, they are an assessment company not an analytics.  It makes sense.   They gather the players’ stats.

But.  (And there it is.  “But.”  There is always a “but.”)

Those silos have painted us (academia–faculty, admin, student services, venders) into some corners blinding  us to connections. Connections that are sitting right in front of us.

When the students take the survey online, the computer is locked (an old school academic trick to make sure the exam is pure).

In this case though it seems counterintuitive.  Why block ourselves from gathering data the students would make available by visiting our site on their computers? The old models blind us.

It is the scouts in Moneyball  despite the research they insist on past models.

I always tell my lit students, “The questions are more important than the answers.”  As far as I can tell, nobody is looking for new questions because they think they are gathering the right answers.

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