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April 12, 2012 / dlitgroup

Project Round

Open Academic Analytics Initiative (OAAI): Leveraging Openness to Improve Learner Success, Josh Baron

OAAI uses two primary data courses, the student information system and the learning management system.

The goal of this project is to create an open-source early alert system. It will predict students who are at-risk during the early weeks of the course and then provide intervention. OAAI is also researching how portable predictive models are and what are the most effective intervention methods. 36 courses at different community colleges and 36 courses at historically black colleges and universities are involved in the pilot.

In order to have some standardization of support at each campus involved in the pilot, a design framework was developed for the Online Academic Support Environments, which are then locally developed and deployed. There are three parts to the framework: (1) Learner-content interactions in the framework include self-assessment instruments, OER content for remediation, and OER content for improved learning skills. (2) Learner-facilitator interactions such as academic learning specialist and guest motivational speakers. (3) Learner-mentor interactions including online student mentors, an online student lounge for more informal interactions and blogs for students to capture their own reflections.

Central Piedmont Community College, Clint McElroy

At Central Piedmont CC, they brainstormed back in 2002 and came up with a list of barriers they wanted to address:

  1. Improve student services
  2. Improve faculty skills – most faculty come with no formal training in teaching and learning
  3. Improving technology for student tracking


The use of the student success centers increased from 39,000 contacts to 133,000 per year. Two new instruments were established – a learning and a personality inventory which over 17,000 students have used. An orientation course, ACA 111, has grown from reaching only 40 students in one year to over 3,000.

Part-time faculty were involved in all of the faculty training, funds were used to help with this. There was an emphasis on integrating students learning styles and student success strategies into learning. Over 300 of their faculty have participated in the training. During the summer a special institute is run just for part-time faculty, and the faculty members are paid to attend. A large part of the training includes getting faculty to vary their instructional methods to meet more learning styles.

A student profile was developed and the information is provided to faculty. The profile lets faculty know the personality type and preferred learning type of each student in their course.


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