Harnessing ICT potential: The adoption and analysis of ICT systems for enhancing the student learning experience



Publication Details

Dawson, S. P., Heathcote, E. & Poole, G. (2010). Harnessing ICT potential: The adoption and analysis of ICT systems for enhancing the student learning experience. International Journal of Educational Management, 24 (2), 116-128.


Purpose ¿ This paper aims to examine how effective higher education institutions have been in harnessing the data capture mechanisms from their student information systems, learning management systems and communication tools for improving the student learning experience and informing practitioners of the achievement of specific learning outcomes. The paper seeks to argue that the future of analytics in higher education lies in the development of more comprehensive and integrated systems to value add to the student learning experience.Design/methodology/approach ¿ Literature regarding the trend for greater accountability in higher education is reviewed in terms of its implications for greater ¿user driven¿ direction. In addition, IT usage within higher education and contemporary usage of data captured from various higher education systems is examined and compared to common commercial applications to suggest how higher education management and teachers can gain greater understanding of the student cohort and personalise and enhance the learning experience much as commercial entities have done for their client base. A way forward for higher education is proposed.Findings ¿ If the multiple means that students engage with university systems are considered, it is possible to track individual activity throughout the entire student life cycle ¿ from initial admission, through course progression and finally graduation and employment transitions. The combined data captured by various systems builds a detailed picture of the activities students, instructors, service areas and the institution as a whole undertake and can be used to improve relevance, efficiency and effectiveness in a higher education institution.Originality/value ¿ The paper outlines how academic analytics can be used to better inform institutions about their students learning support needs. The paper provides examples of IT automation that may allow for student user-information to be translated into a personalised and semi-automated support system for students.

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