There has always been data collected in education, and that’s what’s helped shape current policies and practices. Thanks to the 2020 lockdown though, there’s been a real explosion in data and that’s helped make changes for the better. How is big data being used to improve this field? Here’s everything that you need to know.
The Areas Of Big Data In Education
There are several key areas in which big data is being used in education. Here’s where you’ll see that data being used:
Academic performance: This is what you’ll think of first when it comes to education. We can gather lots of data on learners themselves, and their performance in the classroom. When analysed, the data can be used to improve their experience, allowing them to get more out of learning.
Faculty work: When it comes to learning, the learning environment has a big part to play in it. The data you collect can help you create a better faculty in which to learn.
Outreach: It’s not just the current learners that you’ll want to focus on, but the future ones too. Many institutes of higher learning are already using big data to analyse the activity of a potential student online, as they browse their website and social feeds. That helps you create better online resources for them.
Tech efficiency: Tech has always had a big part of education, and that’s especially true now thanks to the lockdowns and the move to online only learning. As well as in education itself, big data can help improve financial and business operational systems.
How Big Data Is Improving Education
So, with all this in mind, how is big data being used to improve education? There are several areas where you’ll see improvements, thanks the analysis of the data at hand.
Improvements In The Learning Process
At the very core of education is the learning process, and advancements are being made all the time here. With big data, educational institutions can see just what’s working for them and what isn’t. That lets them refine the process, making it better for both teachers and students.
For example, this can be done by improving reading materials that students have access to. Data can show what’s having more of an impact, and educators can use more reading materials like the most successful ones, to get the most from them.
When this is done, you’ll see a big improvement in student scores and grades overall. They’ll have a much better time learning, and get more out of it.
Educators always have to be one step ahead, planning ahead for their next classes and the next year’s enrolment at large. When you have access to data about the prospective incoming group of students, that helps a lot in planning for them.
For instance, you’ll see where they’re at in terms of academic performance, which makes it much easier to start planning classes in advance.
Administrators can use this data too, to see what classes and degrees are popular and will require more growth. That helps the institution at large grow and meet the demands of their students.
Understand Student Issues In Learning
With big data, you can very easily identify where students are starting to struggle with the material. “You want to know as soon as possible if a student is struggling, so you can help them out” says tech writer Sam Yates, from Simple Grad. “With that data, you can pick out exactly what’s causing problems right away.”
This is something that a lot of educators are doing right now, and they’re seeing great results with it. As they can spot an issue quite quickly, they can help the student before things get worse. That helps preserves their grades and keep them on track to graduate with a strong overall grade.
Understand Students’ Strengths
It’s not all about the ways in which students are struggling. You also want to know more about how they’re succeeding, too. With big data, you’ll get a clear picture of where their strengths lie, and that’s something that you want to know about.
When you know what your students are good at, you can cater to these strengths in class planning. That helps keep engagement up, and will be encouraging to students as they learn in your class.
As well as this though, you can look further ahead than the next class. That data can show you a lot about how those students can succeed once they’ve graduated. Sharing that data with them can show them future roles that they may be interested in. Having that support will help students find success later down the line.
Create New Opportunities
Here’s something that you may not have realised as an educator. With big data, you’ve got a better understanding of all your students. In today’s classroom, you have access to more technology than ever too. That makes education more accessible than ever before.
As you have all this at your fingertips, you can create more personalized learning opportunities for your students. That allows everyone to learn at their own pace, and get what they need out of your classes.
For example, let’s consider an elementary school class. Not all the students in this class would be equal in terms of math skills. As the teacher, you could use machine learning AI to assess each students’ needs, and then create personalised work sheets for them. That not only saves you time as the educator, but helps all the students achieve.
Get Feedback On Teaching Strategies
When it comes to big data, it really helps when you need feedback on your teaching strategies. “It’s an unbiased way to see how successful your current plans are” says Brian Hope, a data marketer at Assignment Help. “When you have all this data to hand, your analysis shows where you can make tweaks to improve things.”
Being able to use that data to improve your own work has a knock on effect of improving learning in class, and helping students do the best they can.
Drawbacks Of Big Data
While there are a lot of benefits to using big data in education, there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of. For example, while there’s plenty of data available, there is a lack of talent available to help analyse it. That is an issue when you want to get the most out of that data and start using it right away.
There are also issues when it comes to security. Current security protocols are not designed for big data as it stands right now. As an educational institution, you want to be sure you’re keeping your students’ data safe. Right now, there’s no guarantee that it’s safe on servers in your school.
These are issues that will be overcome with time though, as other tech catches up with big data as a whole.
You’ve seen just what big data can do to improve education as a whole. There’s lots of ways that it can be used, and you should be exploring them now. Think about how you can use big data to improve your students’ learning and later success.