ACADEMIC SUCCESS EXCHANGE
On May 27, 2021, we dove into a big topic: data. Our client attendees, made up of center managers and higher education professionals, discussed data from all angles. How they collect it, how they use it, some interesting things their data has revealed, and how their collection process or data itself has changed since the pandemic. Here are some of the big questions and ideas that came out of our discussion. If you weren’t able to attend but have any thoughts yourself, please let us know in the comments!
What data does your center use, and how?
Some attendees reported that they have been comparing center attendance to students’ final grades, although the challenge with this is often to determine whether higher grades come as a result of center attendance, or whether center attendance comes from students who are already more motivated anyway. This is why consulting with your Institutional Research office can be so important, because they can help guide the data collection and analysis process.
Student centers often use data to inform things such as hours and staffing. One center manager reported that she has also been using attendance data to identify students who have been “putting in the work” and can therefore be eligible for additional support if needed. Since many centers have policies about how often students can receive help, this is a great way to determine fairly which students should truly be considered exceptions to that rule.
A manager of a newly-opened, first-generation student support center sought tips for reporting utilization and issues or reasons for appointments. Our Engineerica support team pointed out that the Accudemia Traffic Analysis and Zero Visits reports can be very helpful here and provide valuable insight, and reminded this manager that he can make a group of the center’s eligible students in Accudemia for even easier reporting.
What does your reporting show you about which subject areas get the most “love,” and how do you communicate with faculty and staff about your center?
One center reported when they looked at the courses with the most utilization, they found that specialized courses don’t get as much traffic. So they reached out to instructors of these courses to ask what could be done differently by the center to better support students. While sometimes center admins approach this issue from the perspective of faculty not doing enough to support a center, they’ve had more luck with this approach that doesn’t make it the faculty’s “problem.”
Another center said they use the data to determine good candidates for Supplemental Instruction or embedded tutoring, which we think is an excellent use of that data!
How often do you pull data?
This is one area where we got a wide variety of responses. Just goes to show that everyone’s needs are different! Some types of data, such as survey results, tend to be pulled quite regularly, at least every week. Others said they pull attendance data monthly, or even by the semester.
In what ways have you looked at data as having validated your services and their effectiveness?
In addition to seeing a positive correlation between attendance and grades, as we mentioned above, at least one attendee confirmed that attendance data has helped prove their area’s effectiveness in a time of budget cuts. So many centers are facing this challenge, and we hope that by using Accudemia, our clients are able to avoid the brunt of these concerns by showing the necessity of their services.
There’s no one right way to use data, but the only wrong way is not to collect it or look at it at all! You may know your center is effective, but make sure you can back up your claims!
Have questions for other centers and institutions about Accudemia or other topics of interest? Join us to get connected and ask!
This is a great way to network with other academic center administrators to exchange ideas and collaborate. While we will host and moderate the live session, the discussion will be driven by academic center administrators such as yourself. Each weekly session will have a preset topic voted on by those who attend. We invite higher education professionals to join us Tuesdays for our discussions. See more details at the Accudemia Weekly Sessions website.