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Outstanding digital innovation leads to award shortlist

  • Date

    Fri 13 Apr 18

Students studying with University of Essex Online are benefiting from precisely tailored data driven support thanks to a new Learner Analytics System.

The new system has been so successful in improving the educational experience and learner outcomes for students it has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award for outstanding digital innovation. 

The system has overcome many technological challenges with staff and students working together so multiple data sources can be brought together to allow University of Essex Online to provide personalised student support.

University of Essex Online is a partnership between the University of Essex and Kaplan Open Learning, established in 2007 and currently providing distance learning courses to 1,632 students.

Our Dean of Partnerships Dominic Micklewright said: “This nomination reflects the outstanding learning experience that we have created at the University of Essex Online. 

“We take a genuine interest in the individual needs of all of our online students, making sure they receive the highest quality tailored support needed to achieve their full potential. The learner analytics system we have been nominated for contributes to the outstanding, supportive and transformational learning experience of University of Essex Online.”

Nicola Pittman, Managing Director at Kaplan Open Learning said: “We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for this award. Our students are at the core of everything we do and we constantly strive to innovate in our online delivery to ensure successful student outcomes. It is great for all of our hard work and research to be officially recognised.”

Since the new system was implemented overall satisfaction levels in the National Student Survey, learners actively studying, learner retention and the number of good degrees have all significantly increased.

The Learner Analytics System uses live data from University of Essex Online’s learning platform to help staff understand student needs based on their individual circumstances and interactions with course materials. It is particularly useful in predicting learners at risk of disengaging from their studies and enables staff to provide preventative, individually-tailored support with precise feedback at critical moments.

The system provides tutors with a dashboard view of each learner’s engagement with the course, allowing them to flexibly set up personalised correspondence and inform individually tailored one-to-one student-tutor telephone meetings.