Wednesday 1st April 2020
Further to our recent communications, the onset of COVID-19 and the critical need to maintain social distancing, this significantly impacts students’ abilities to perform the same activities that were previously part of their day to day studies. This has the natural impact of a reduction in the student’s overall engagement at the university. The level of this impact differs from university to university.
What has Solutionpath been doing to assess this?
As each university has different data points to measure ‘engagement’ and different implementations of different systems all with locally tuned algorithms, we have been analysing the data across all clients to see if we can put in place some short-term measures to ensure engagement is still maintained.
The main areas of impact are attendance, library access and loans, access records (swipes) and print, and for some institutions, this represents a large part of their custom algorithm.
To this end, we have been modeling scenarios in our StREAM Data Foundry analytical system to identify a quick way of turning this around. We see that if we increase the weighting on any available online activities that we can level out some of the change from losing other data sources. These systems include VLE Login; both mobile and PC, VLE Courses, eResources and/or eJournals, Video lecture capture, PC Logins and various others.
The more online resources are available to StREAM the more level the scoring becomes.
A choice to be made immediately;
With the above information in mind we are now offering a couple of simple options to our clients:
1. Leave the algorithm as it stands and assess later.
Due to the time of year, many universities typically see a slowdown in campus activity. You may choose to leave the algorithm the same to ensure consistency across the academic year and wait until closer to September before deciding how you wish to change engagement monitoring.
If you chose this route, we strongly recommend you communicate out to students that you are aware of the impact and for them not to be concerned if they see a drop in their engagement.
Action: Ensure you communicate with all students and staff the impact on the engagement score from reduced on-campus activities.
2. Increase your online resources
If you have a good collection of online resources as part of your algorithm doubling up the score will allow your students to interact and get increased weighting for their activity. This has the effect of keeping students in higher categories and not falling into very low or none (if you have this category) engagement categories. While this is not as statistically relevant due to several factors (i.e. we don’t have one year of data on the way students will interact during this period). It will still show for students who are actively accessing the VLE and other online resources a higher engagement level now that attendance is not a factor enabling your operational process to support accordingly.
Action: To discuss in further detail progression with this approach, please raise a ticket within your service desk and state the following
“Please progress a request to evaluate our algorithm due to COVID-19”
Following receipt of this ticket, we will contact you to arrange a conversation to discuss the changes we would seek to make before making any changes to your algorithm.
3. Working together: User Forum
We are working with some universities to better understand how the students’ interaction is adjusting to this unprecedented situation.
We know as a user community you will be implementing activity using our software to support your distance learning activities. We would love it if you would share those experiences. Whereby you are looking for guidance and knowledge share about other institutional activities this is also a good place to get answers.
To facilitate the discourse, we are a dedicated Microsoft™ Teams forum for you to participate in, we would very much like for you to be involved and value your input.
Action: To be included in the Solutionpath User Forum conversation, please email Sophie.email@example.com and we will add you to the conversation.
4. Going into the future
There is the very real potential that this situation will not be “normal” by September 2020 and if that is the case, we need to start planning what that landscape looks like.
I’m sure you are all working hard on this and we would like to highlight how we can help and would like to understand how you are going to be bringing in different systems to support your students and how we might ingest that data.
If it is indeed possible that we can no longer have physical attendance which has long been held as a great indication of engagement, now more than ever we must ensure we have enough data in the system to accurately allow you to see the engagement levels of all students, support their wellbeing and ensure they continue as students at your University.
5. Online/Distance Learning Engagement Resources
We would like to call on our community to share with Solutionpath where you are seeing increased activity and what other online resources you may have that can be utilised within your engagement score. To facilitate conversation about potential online learning engagement resources for StREAM please log a ticket with the service desk.
Action: To discuss in further detail progression with this approach, please raise a ticket within your service desk and state the following:
“Please arrange a call to discuss our future options for online learning resources in StREAM”
We appreciate your continued support in these uncertain times,
Stay safe and well,
See the rest of our CV-19 comms;
Wednesday 1st April 2020 Impact of COVID-19 on your StREAM Engagement Scores Further to our recent communications, the onset of COVID-19 and the critical need to maintain social distancing, this significantly impacts students’ abilities to perform the same activities that were previously part of their day to day studies. This has the natural impact of […]
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