April 05, 2017

The Digital Campus: Big Data

This special report on The Digital Campus looks at the promise — and the limits — of big data. Colleges want to use it to better track students and help them succeed, to find out what works in the classroom, and more. Here you’ll read about some of the efforts underway to accomplish those goals, but also caveats from several analysts, who warn that all that data is meaningless if colleges aren’t asking the right questions and identifying the most pressing problems — tasks that require human intervention. Copies of the report are available for purchase here.

Our coverage also examines the urgent threat to data security posed by hackers, the growing collaboration between colleges and private boot camps that offer technical skills, and the latest developments in the open-educational-resources movement.

Chronicle subscribers and site-license holders can read the full Digital Campus Report through the links below.

Subscribe today. Copies of the report are available for purchase here.

College networks are under constant attack by hackers whose tools are increasingly sophisticated.

With a few exceptions, high-tech efforts to track students with learning analytics are still just getting off the ground.

Freely licensed textbooks mean big savings for students, but the extra work of assembling the course materials makes some faculty members wonder what’s in it for them.

At Western Governors University, an online-only institution that enrolls 80,000, the possibilities for institutional researchers are just about endless.

Acquiring an expensive tool does not guarantee demonstrable and sustainable improvement.

The information that comes out of big-data systems must be usable, useful, and actionable by educators who know how to make sense of it.

The career-focused programs were initially pitched as the antithesis of traditional colleges. But now several boot camps are discovering the value of a more direct connection to universities, and vice versa.

Giving instructors adequate time and support for course redesign isn’t how most universities seem to spend their money.

Colleges ignoring electronic credentialing now are like bookstores ignoring Amazon in 1997. You know what happened next.

Tech-savvy candidates have an advantage — for now.

Selected readings on digital technology.