How the Education Sector Will Benefit From Big Data
Sun, April 18, 2021

How the Education Sector Will Benefit From Big Data

As academic resources move from paper to digital, it is expected for big data analysis to increase / Photo by: everything possible via Shutterstock

 

The loyalty cards customers avail from supermarkets offer them a plethora of rewards, but those cards also provide stores with invaluable data on their customers’ needs and preferences, as written by Simon Fry of subscription-only monthly magazine Education Technology. It’s the same for schools and universities. Educational Institutions can paint a lucrative picture of their students’ working habits and academic performances through big data analysis. 

As academic resources move from paper to digital, it is expected for big data analysis to increase. Director of Learning Experience at Kortext Yaz El Hakim stated that big data, machine learning, and AI in education “is not an arms race, but a smart race.” Let’s tackle how big data will change the education industry for the better. 

Education’s Slow Adoption of Big Data and Technology

Pritom Das of American entrepreneurship magazine Entrepreneur said that the education sector has been slow in adopting big data. This leaves students with irrelevant information and certificates. The said issue drives the rise of EdTech and advanced data technologies to “fine-tune the educational process.” 

Big Data In Ashford School

Universities are using data in a more sophisticated manner. Data on Excel spreadsheets are now evolving into “institutionally triangulated and queried data stores.” Institutions nowadays want to make a profound impact on teaching, research, and knowledge exchange while supporting the success of their students. 

One notable case is Ashford School, which utilizes big data to significantly improve student results and outcomes. Innovative assessment tools and software applications such as Classroom Monitor, Nearpod, and Socrative are used to track student actions and results, as well as how long they spend answering questions in online quizzes. 

Analyzing the data trail in real-time helps teachers understand their students’ individual behaviors, which aids them in creating personalized learning environments. Ashford School’s Director of E-Learning Dr. Neelam Parmar noted, “Alternatively, from an operational point of view, the use of big data has also had an impact in reducing overall IT costs at Ashford.” Thanks to user data analysis, the school can now “assess and make educated decisions” with regard to the purchase and longevity of its applications and systems. 

For Dr. Parmar, those educated decisions have been proven to be “demonstrably economical.” Through data analysis, Ashford School has significantly reduced the number of auxiliary tools. These tools seemed like a “good idea” at first. However, they did not have an impact on learning and teaching. 

By processing and reporting data, the school was able to streamline its ecosystem by using applications that were proven beneficial to both students and teachers. Hence, Ashford School found itself saving money and managing its IT budget, Dr. Paramar added.   

Universities are using data in a more sophisticated manner. Data on Excel spreadsheets are now evolving into “institutionally triangulated and queried data stores” / Photo by: Flyby Photography via Shutterstock

 

The Benefits of Big Data In Education 

1. Books Made Available to Each Student

Millions of textbooks are available in digital formats. Universities can improve the learning experience of students on campus and make core textbooks available to each pupil digitally. In the library, physical copies of textbooks are either missing or unavailable. Hence, opening up reading analytics for higher education is important since there is a correlation between reading analytics with outcomes and grades. 

2. Personalized Learning Process

Yaz explained that big data, machine learning, and AI will be utilized in almost all software five years from now. Popular software, sites, and services will monitor how people use and engage with the software’s content, goods, and services. 

Yaz continued, “Providing the highest efficiencies and greatest personalization for a user’s experience will become even more essential than it is today.” Hence, universities are trying to have the most personalized software and systems to enable students to have the best user experiences. 

Tracking a myriad of activities in one subject makes it easier to “draw inferences from their behavior.” These inferences can be used to create a customized learning process for each student. With a personalized learning process, students have the option to select the subjects they want to take, how long their lectures will last, and even when they are prepared to take an exam. 

The effectivity of personalized learning is further enhanced by allowing students to contact their professors and classmates via forums or social media websites. Besides, students learn better when they can ask questions and receive answers from their teachers or classmates immediately. 

3. Increased Participation

People are showing less interest in undertaking formal education since a degree does not necessarily guarantee a better future. With big data and customized modules or courses, most students are resorting to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and distance-learning courses. 

Individuals who were unable to obtain a degree in a specific field can now benefit from the EdTech revolution, as they do not have to spend time and money on traditional education.  

4. Convenience and Efficiency

Founder of Tassomai Murray Morrison stated, “What edtech offers is really nothing new beyond the ability to outsource tasks and improve efficiency and accuracy.” When teachers are given the opportunity to use technology to determine which of their students need immediate attention, they can spend their time inspiring youths to make a change— something which technology can’t do. 

Big data has untapped potential in education. Staffing and recruitment are costly. However, investing in technology improves a university’s quality of education and mitigates burnout among staff and teachers. Hopefully, big data and technological advancements will help reduce drop-out rates and improve retention in the future.

With big data and customized modules or courses, most students are resorting to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and distance-learning courses / Photo by: G-Stock Studio via Shutterstock