To encourage, identify, and exchange effective practice in the use of data to inform teaching and learning, the Provost's Office has once again awarded learning analytics mini grants to three faculty for the 2022-23 academic year (the three faculty and their proposed topics are included below):
Tara Carpenter (Chemistry): "Modeling Effective Learning Strategies in Introductory Chemistry." This is a renewal of Carpenter's 21-22 mini grant, focused on students' understanding and use of "spaced practice" as an alternative to cramming for exams in her CHEM 102 "Principles of Chemistry II" course. Specifically, she is focused on how students can take their spaced practice "lessons learned" with them to CHEM 351 "Organic Chemistry," which requires CHEM 102. Carpenter presented her initial findings last spring, and has already offered a "spaced practice" workshop this fall for her Spring 22 CHEM 102 students currently enrolled in CHEM 351. She is also working with the FDC and DoIT to conduct a series of focus groups to better understand the challenges students face in setting up spaced practice on their own.
Karen Chen (Information Systems): "Bumpy Journey: Exploring Gateway Courses Failures and Major Switch - a Case Study with Information Systems Majors." This is a renewal of Chen's 21-22 mini grant focused on what is sometimes referred to "curricular analytics," particularly in CoEIT. She presented her initial findings at Indiana University's 2022 Learning Analytics Summit in May, but also leveraged this work to look at how she teaches data science by engaging students as creators, not just consumers, of learning analytics insights and interventions. Her presentation, "Analytics by Students for Students," was the first in UMBC's Fall 2022 data science and learning analytics series.
Cody Goolsby-Cole (Physics): "How Does Student Performance on Ungraded Practice Questions Correlate to Performance on Exams?"This is a new proposal emerging from Goolsby-Cole's participation in a grant to promote "Equity & Digital Education" by the Every Learner Everywhere Network. Building on a growing CNMS practice of using question banks and calculated question types for online exams in Blackboard, Goolsby-Cole also created practice questions that were ungraded, in terms of points contributing to a final grade, but including correct and incorrect answers displayed to students. During the first six units of his Spring 22 course, PHYS 122 "Introductory Physics II," he found students earning a 70% on the practice questions earned an average of 92% on the exam that followed. Students who did not use practice questions earned an average exam grade of 77%. He plans to build out and assess this practice environment further, including practice exams, to see if and how more students might use and benefit from it.
"On behalf of the Provost, we're pleased to continue offering these learning analytics mini grants to help faculty use institutional data that might inform their course designs and instruction to the benefit of our students," says Robert Carpenter, associate provost and deputy CIO. "We are excited by these interesting projects and look forward to what the faculty may find."
These one-year learning analytics awards are renewable pending receipt of a final report, paper submitted for publication or conference presentation. In addition to use of UMBC's Report Exchange (REX) data warehouse, and a Tableau "viewer" license, faculty recipients can consult with staff from Analytics and Business Intelligence, Instructional Technology and Institutional Research and Decision support (IRADS).
For more information about this year's workshops, speakers and another learning analytics mini-grant call for proposals to be announced in Spring 23, please visit doit.umbc.edu/analytics/community.
by John Fritz