Jisc & Creating a Nationwide Learning Analytics Dashboard

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Experiments and research-gathering for education was once limited to the lab and the classroom. Today, every student’s computer is a mini research lab where educators can learn more about how students learn, and accommodate best for student success. With robust learning analytics tools available, schools can use the data about how students learn and behave to make decisions that positively impact student retention, degree attainment, and student satisfaction.

The Challenge

Jisc is a not-for-profit organization working to digitally advance the UK’s higher education system. To do this, it provides the country’s colleges and universities with shared digital infrastructure and services by brokering sector-wide deals.

Jisc wanted to implement a national-scale solution for the institutions in the UK to have access to learning analytics technology. The underlying purpose of this technology is to be able to adjust based on data to improve student success and retention rates, as well as academic performance and graduation rates.

Why Unicon?

Unicon has decades of experience in integration — which is where analytics programs like these start. Unicon previously built OpenLRW (Learning Record Warehouse - formerly OpenLRS) and OpenDashboard, creating a strong foundation for Jisc’s project.

Marist College in New York, partner to Unicon, and also a participant in the open analytics space, developed an open source, predictive learning analytics model. The model could be easily adopted by various institutions regardless of size and demographic makeup.

Together, Unicon and Marist created a compelling team for Jisc’s solution.

This project addressed retention and degree attainment issues by establishing an infrastructure that tracks student learning activity and other student data to identify students at risk for completing a course.

Unicon, in tandem with Marist College, delivered a multi-tenant solution, which Jisc made available to hundreds of UK higher education institutions. The solution incorporated a learning data warehouse, Hadoop infrastructure and end-user facing open source technologies including OpenDashboard and Student Success Plan (SSP), all built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure.

With this infrastructure, schools in the UK can focus on student success as their first priority.