Can we achieve automated subject specific study advice for students at scale?

Many universities now have systems for monitoring students’ overall online engagement but such systems are blunt instruments because they don’t take into account the intended online behaviour for specific subjects. On the other hand, systems such as the SRES allow individual teachers to create tailored dashboards and notifications for students, but these systems require substantial commitment by teaching staff to undertake the customisation required.

At Charles Sturt University we are developing a system that simplifies the customisation process with the goal of scaling up implementation across entire programs and eventually across all online programs offered by the university. The system will allow the subject designer to easily tag individual online learning resources such as videos, animations and readings, and individual learning activities such as forum discussions, quizzes and simulations, as important to the completion of specific assessment tasks, and will then automatically provide students with study advice during the teaching session based on their individual online behaviour.

I’ll be talking about our plans in this space at the 2nd Annual Learning Analytics Summit in Melbourne in June. The session will illustrate:

  • The benefits of subject specific as distinct from generic analytic driven study advice for students;
  • Examples of different learning designs with different intended student online engagement patterns;
  • Existing solutions to providing automated study advice to students customised to specific learning designs; and
  • The alternative approach being taken within the system under development at CSU which simplifies the customisation process to allow at scale implementation.
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