UMBC’s Learning Analytics Program is a community of scholars interested in using analytical data to advance student achievement and success. We’re relaunching the program after, like so many things, Covid-19 interrupted our plans. The program has two parts, a community of practice and a competitive mini-grant program supported through the Provost’s Office.
Meetings of the community of practice are open to all faculty, full and part time. During these meetings, we’ll share ongoing research, have invited speakers, and learn about the data, tools, and platforms that faculty can use to improve student success and learning. We’ll have infrastructure experts, data scientists, and others on hand to help interested faculty with access to data and to help design analysis or interventions to better understand the factors that improve student learning or student success in face to face, hybrid, or online classes.
Our first meeting of the community this semester will be held on March 11, where we’ll have virtual visitors from Indiana University show some of their work on grade surprise followed by a discussion about using learning analytics from both a practitioner and research perspective. More details about the seminar are available here.
The mini-grant program is open to all faculty (full and part time). Each successful applicant will receive $2,000 in research funds and when needed, a license for our visualization software to enable the exploration of data and the sharing of discoveries. The Analytics and Business Intelligence Teams in DoIT and the Provost’s Office will provide support to those who need assistance with data (and will coordinate support with IRADS when needed) and in creating visualizations or helping design and implement the analysis of data.
We are interested in proposals surrounding student success and retention through graduation, especially those that explore relationships between activities and learning in one course and outcomes in others. We are also interested in proposals from instructors of courses that have low success rates, are critical progression points for students, or that impart fundamental skills required for success in the major or program. Collaborative proposals are allowed and encouraged. Multiple proposals with different goals may be submitted from the same department. Participants who identify course or practice redesign as part of their work are eligible and encouraged to compete for a Hrabowski Innovation Award.
Interested in more details? Here are links to the WebEx recording of our kickoff meeting and the PowerPoint presentation that went along with it. You can also contact me (Bob Carpenter) or John Fritz directly.