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Agenda

subject to change

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

8:00am – 9:00am Breakfast
9:00am – 9:15am Welcome

  • Bill Ballhaus (Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Blackboard Inc.)
9:15pm – 10:15am Engaging the academics and students – making the promise of learning analytics real.

  • Deborah West (Pro Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching Innovation, Flinders University)
10:15am – 10:30am Break
10:30am – 11:30pm “5 in 5” presentations

  • Spectacular Failures | Van Davis (Blackboard)
  • The New Girl on Campus – an Online Retention Specialist’s Experience | Dr. Amber Anderson (Wichita State University)
  • Defining Digital Transformation | Dr. Ken Russell (Pfeiffer University)
  • Tracking Non-Attending Students 2.0 | Rich Simpson (California Baptist University)
  • Engaging students FAST: Out of the Box | Andy Miller (Concordia University Wisconsin)
  • Using data to build community and promote progressive pedagogies | Leif Nelson (Boise State University)
  • Stack Time: Libraries as Laboratories of Student Success and Persistence | Dr. Jon Tysse (Blackhawk College)
  • Learning Analytics Research for LMS Course Design | Dr. John Whitmer (Blackboard)
11:30am – 12:00pm What’s new and next for analytics at Blackboard

  • Phill Miller (VP, Teaching & Learning, Blackboard Inc.)
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch 12:20 – 12:50
[optional] Pyramid 2018 Info Session

  • Mike Lebben (VP, Sales and Operations, Pyramid Analytics
  • Rachel Scherer (Sr. Product Manager, Blackboard Analytics
1:00pm – 1:50pm Increasing Institutional Performance with Blackboard Intelligence

  • National Student Clearinghouse Transfer Model | Brandy Thatcher (Illinois Central College)
  • Using the Blackboard Analytics Relational Databases as an Integrated Warehouse | Maxwell Kwenda & Lyle Spencer (Gonzaga University)
  • Successes and Challenges with Higher Education Student Data Implementation | Ken Murphy and Lauri Mantooth (Chapman University)
Learning Analytics & Instructional Design

  • Learning Analytics in Action: Empirical Findings from an Online Program Pilot | Rob Nyland (Boise State University)
  • Assessing the Impact of a Faculty Online Teaching Certification Course | Molly Mead (University of Missouri – Kansas City)
  • Comparing Student Perceptions of Cognitive Load, Course Design Quality, Engagement, and Online Community Between Text Only and Multimedia Rich Courses |Torria Davis (California Baptist University)
2:00pm – 2:50pm Decision Support Culture Shift

  • Chris Gill, Christine Marchand, Mitchell Stearns (Drake University)
Improving Online Student Outcomes with Analytics

  • Paul O’Brien & Kendall St. Hilaire (Indian River State College)
3:00pm – 3:50pm Institutional Success Tour 

  • Pyramid: How to share analytics at scale | Ian Holder (Charles Sturt University, Australia)
  • The use of Blackboard Predict in the Design of UMBC’s Student Success Support Ecosystem | Robert Carpenter & Jack Suess (UMBC)
  • Academic Decision Support | Christine Marchand and Mitchell Stearns (Drake University)
  • University of Windsor’s Blackboard Customized LMS Administrative Toolkit | Lorie Stolarchuk (University of Windsor)
  • Curriculum Mapping, A4L Style | Allyson Skene (University of Windsor)
  • Early Warning Signals. What about effective interventions, data validation & instructional design? | Jan Tjeerd Groenewoud, Hans Beldhuis & Koos Winnips (University of Groningen)
4:00pm – 4:50pm Analytics for Student Success

  • Data analytics: A tool for aligning resources to achieve enrollment and student success goals | Dr. Maria Thompson (Coppin State University)
  • Advising the Advisors! | Chris Brandt & Andy Miller (Concordia University Wisconsin)
Outcomes & Assessment

  • Measuring General Education Assessment & Institutional Core Competencies at Central Piedmont Community College | Kara Bosch (Central Piedmont Community College)
  • Leveraging BlackBoard Outcomes Assessment as a Continuous Improvement Strategy at Amarillo College | Tina M. Babb (Amarillo College)
5:00pm – 7:30pm Networking Reception / Dinner

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

8:00am – 9:00am Breakfast
9:00am – 11:20 am Workshop: Technical Training for Blackboard Intelligence and Analytics for Learn

  • Bob Taticek (Principal Technical Consultant, Blackboard Analytics)
Workshop: Improving your institutional readiness for Learning Analytics

  • Chad Kainz, Principal Strategist, Strategy & Transformation Services, Blackboard
11:30am – 12:30pm What does learning analytics mean for higher education? An industry perspective

  • Timothy Harfield (Blackboard)
  • James Wiley (Eduventures)
  • Joyce Kim (Ovum)
  • Alan Greenberg (Wainhouse)
12:30pm Lunch

Deborah West

Pro Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching Innovation, Flinders University

Engaging the academics and students – making the promise of learning analytics real.

Moving forward on the learning analytics journey is exciting yet challenging.  We are all building systems, exploring the possibilities and trying to make the promise of learning analytics a reality in our institutions.   Yet, much of the work to date has been driven by institutional agendas and priorities which can sometimes challenge our ability to make it relevant for academics and students.

Drawing together work from several national and international research projects (West et al., 2015; West et al, in press), this presentation will explore some of the challenges of ‘readiness’ for learning analytics from an institutional, academic/teaching and student perspective.  At an institutional level things like technical infrastructure, institutional positioning and policy frameworks are relatively easy to put in place in comparison to the work that is required to engage academics and students in the use and ongoing development of learning analytics.  While many academics know little about learning analytics they can identify the information and data points that would be useful to them.  Exploring these data points can help us to focus our attention on providing the types of reports that our stakeholders see as useful.  Similarly students have a general idea of what would be useful to them as well as their concerns which should inform our development.

While bringing the various stakeholders on the journey with us is challenging, such exploration and discussion also provides opportunities for linking learning analytics with educational quality improvement, educational research and pedagogy in a systematic way.  Exploring the kinds of information academics and students are seeking can guide us on our journey and provide opportunities to move discussion and thinking forward.  Drawing on work from two institutions, the presentation will also provide some suggestions for how this can be conceptualised to show a value proposition for academics and students.

Van Davis, Ph.D

Associate Vice President of Higher Education Research and Policy, Blackboard Inc.

Spectacular Failures

coming soon …

Amber Anderson, Ph.D

Online Student Retention Specialist, Wichita State University

The New Girl on Campus – an Online Retention Specialist’s Experience

Have you been hearing more and more about retention specialists popping up in university settings? Who are they? How do they promote student success? Let me share how I monitor, track, & support students enrolled in a fully online programs here in the Midwest – Wichita KS.

Ken Russell, Ph.D

Vice President for Digital Transformation and CIO

Defining Digital Transformation

Change within an organization can be difficult. Transformation, well . .. that’s something else entirely! Adding technology to the complexity of organization transformation has perplexed many institutions – large AND small.  Learn how to define Digital Transformation for your organization (and why it’s critically important)!

Rich Simpson

Registrar for the Division of Online & Professional Studies at California Baptist University

Tracking Non-Attending Students 2.0

Using a custom report to track non-attending students in online classes, the Division of Online and Professional Studies at California Baptist University has proven how useful Blackboard Learn data can be to not only identify non-attending students, but also at-risk students. Using the same report, one year later, the division is now beginning to track how students persist throughout the eight-week session, identifying which students are most likely to not be successful, requiring adviser and faculty intervention.

Andy Miller

Director of Academic Advising and Retention, ‎Concordia University-Wisconsin

Engaging students FAST: Out of the Box

Making data usable is critical to its practical integration. Advisors have long had a desire to proactively engage their advisees, but have not always had the tools to do so. Through two Analytics reports and one dashboard, CUW’s Academic Advising Office has adopted an early alert system that has used out-of-the-box thinking to leverage out-of-the-box Analytics tools; contributing to a record retention rate in year one.

Leif Nelson

Director of Learning Technology Solutions, ‎Boise State University

Using Data to Build Community and Promote Progressive Pedagogies

There is a tension within educational discourses represented on the one hand by progressive pedagogies and social orientations toward things like communities of inquiry and inclusivity; and, on the other hand, by approaches that emphasize individual skill development or behaviorist conceptions of learning that downplay the social aspects of education. What is the role of data, learning analytics, and how these things support various ideological views about learning and education? What should it be?

Jon Tysse, Ph.D

Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, ‎Blackhawk Technical College

Stack Time: Libraries as Laboratories of Student Success and Persistence

coming soon …

John Whitmer, Ed.D

Director of Analytics and Research, Blackboard Inc.

Learning Analytics Research for LMS Course Design

coming soon …

Pyramid: How to share analytics at scale
Ian Holder (Adaptive Learning and Teaching Analyst, Charles Sturt University, Australia)

With more and more academics requesting analytics data, we at Charles Sturt University are trying to determine how best to generate, transform and present detailed analytics across multiple courses. We currently drill-through in Pyramid or use custom Pyramid reports to import/copy the data to Excel, and transform it, combine it with Grade Centre (e.g. child course), and then create charts — which can be time-consuming; though academic feedback is exceptionally positive. Suggestions sought on how we can best streamline this.


The use of Blackboard Predict in the Design of UMBC’s Student Success Support Ecosystem
Robert Carpenter (Associate Provost for Analytics and Institutional Assessment, University of Maryland Baltimore County) & Jack Suess (Vice President of Information Technology and CIO, UMBC)

Over at least the past decade, changes in the funding environment, population demographics, and public policy has led US universities and colleges to place increased emphasis on student success. Universities are increasingly turning to the enhanced use of student data and analytics to design systems to detect and then support at-risk students to help them achieve their educational goals. UMBC, a mid-sized public university with an emphasis in STEM fields, has made large investments in predictive analytics to support student success. This presentation will detail our in-progress pilot program that makes use of Blackboard Predict to complement existing early detections systems to identify students at risk. The presentation will include both our early validation results of Blackboard Predict estimates against our faculty-generated First Year Intervention (FYI) alerts program before continuing on to discuss our plans to use both systems to increase our detection of students needing additional support and providing this support earlier in the term when there is more time to make adjustments. The presentation will then describe how our new Persistence Committee uses other elements of Blackboard and information from our data warehouse to populate a comprehensive report that identifies combinations of factors that increase students’ academic risk and describes the Persistence Committee’s initial campaigns to improve student success.


Academic Decision Support
Christine Marchand (Institutional Research and Academic Compliance Coordinator, Drake University) & Mitchell Stearns (Data Analyst, Drake University)

Academic Decision Support (ADS) intends to provide University leadership with strategic data to help facilitate decision making. ADS analytic reports offer subjects such as longitudinal major enrollment, student credit hours, course utilization and academic performance. One primary function of ADS is its ability to provide trend based real-time analytical insight. The dynamic nature of these reports also allow users to drilldown on pertinent areas of interest.

ADS meets the needs of recurring analytic University questions but also contains a robust (and growing) repository of information to help serve as a starting point to various initiatives. ADS seeks to provide a holistic picture of student engagement and does not rely on one measure to make or break a decision.


University of Windsor’s Blackboard Customized LMS Administrative Toolkit
Lorie Stolarchuk (Learning Technologies Educational Consultant, University of Windsor)

Have you ever been asked questions that LMS data could answer, but you weren’t sure how to mine it? At the University of Windsor, the LMS Team were being asked questions such as:

  • Which instructors are using the Assignments tool this semester, and what are their email addresses (e.g. We need to contact them about the upcoming changes with the Box software integration)?
  • For those students who dropped a course, did they enroll in a different section of the same course, take it another year, or not take it at all?
  • Can you provide an anonymized report of student activity or performance for research purposes?

These types of questions are commonplace, but finding the answers can be challenging with the relatively limited reporting tools that come out of the box.  The University of Windsor has worked to build customizations to respond to these types of questions.

What emerged was a toolkit designed for the system administrators to cull various reports from the system.  Further, as the system administrators already have full access to this data, the Pyramid reports for this group were straightforward.  The wrinkle in the plan comes when users ask for similar access to some of these reports.  This discussion has fueled a data governance conversation on campus with access to new points of data to help decision making.

In this brief presentation, we will share the lessons learned about our customizations and details of the ethical and data governance questions we are still working through.


Curriculum Mapping, A4L Style
Allyson Skene (Learning Specialist, University of Windsor)

Curriculum maps provide effective visualizations for program review and design, as well as for demonstrating quality and rigor in assessment to accreditors. By mapping courses to specific program outcomes, Faculties and Departments can more easily identify gaps or redundancies in their programs, bottle-necks or common trouble spots that students might face, as well as areas of program strength.

Currently neither Blackboard Learn nor A4L come equipped with curriculum mapping tools, but at the University of Windsor, we were able to wrangle existing Learn components (including Goals & Alignments) along with customized dimensions in A4L to build a series of curriculum maps to inform program review and facilitate accreditation reporting.

In this presentation, we will showcase some of the maps we have created: one that visualizes where and how often a particular outcome is being assessed in the program; one that maps where students are meeting, exceeding, or not meeting program expectations across the curriculum; and a third that identifies the relevant assessments that determine student achievement with respect to program outcomes. We will share details about our customizations, as well as suggest ways that these maps may be adapted for a variety of purposes.

As this is just the beginning of our project, we will also share some ideas for moving forward. For example, since Blackboard does not yet have a way to connect distinct sets of outcomes to each other, we are exploring ways to bring complementary data sources into our A4L data model to fill this gap. Ideally, we hope to leverage a combination of customized dimensions in A4L and established alignments in our own database to provide more robust reporting on curriculum.

Increasing Institutional Performance with Blackboard Intelligence

National Student Clearinghouse Transfer Model
Brandy Thatcher (Business Intelligence Analyst, Illinois Central College)

Illinois Central College first began working with National Student Clearinghouse data through their own development of customized tables in the Blackboard Analytics data warehouse several years ago. Learn about how they were able to improve their use of NSC data with implementation of the new Blackboard Analytics National Student Clearinghouse Transfer Extension. This presentation will cover an overview of the process of implementing the new extension including lessons learned and best practices from both a technical and end-user perspective. Examples of how the data is being used through Pyramid reports and dashboards will be shared.

Using the Blackboard Analytics Relational Databases as an Integrated Warehouse
Max Kwenda, Ph.D. (Director for Institutional Research, Gonzaga University) | Lyle Spencer (Data Warehouse Administrator)

Couched in personal experiences as a college professor, institutional researcher at a regional state school, medical school, and now at Gonzaga University – a private Catholic university, this presentation shows how the Blackboard Analytics relational databases are helpful in analyzing data to provide answers to ad hoc questions.

Although examples will feature the student financial aid relational database (iBNSA), the presenter will address the integration with human resources (iBNHR), university advancement (iBNAD), and finance (iBNFM) warehouses.

Successes and Challenges with Higher Education Student Data Implementation
Ken Murphy (Associate Professor, Associate Provost of Academic Administration, Chapman University) | Lauri Mantooth (Director of the Enterprise Applications Group, Chapman University)

Learning Analytics & Instructional Design

Learning Analytics in Action: Empirical Findings from an Online Program Pilot
Rob Nyland (Research & Innovation Team Manager, Boise State University)

For several years, Learning Analytics has been touted as a potential tool for improving student success and retention. However, there seems to be little empirical research regarding how learning analytics can be implemented effectively in online programs. After implementing Analytics For Learn, the Boise State University eCampus Center partnered with faculty, advisors, and administrators from an online program in an action research project. In this session we will discuss empirical findings from that project, and how we are using these findings to impact student success and retention in online programs at Boise State University.

Assessing the Impact of a Faculty Online Teaching Certification Course
Molly Mead, Ph.D (Information Technology Manager, University of Missouri – Kansas City)

Evaluation of online educator training programs and their effects on instructors’ competency and achievement usually depend on post-training self-reported surveys. However, most of these surveys assess the quality of the training and not necessarily the influence it has in changing faculty teaching practices. Of interest was to identify an assessment method to evaluate the impact of the professional development program on online teaching practices, course design, and student behaviors. UMKC is using LMS data to determine the effectiveness of their training model for faculty teaching online. Implications of the research provide support for effective “data-driven” decision-making for individuals overseeing faculty professional development programs.

Comparing Student Perceptions of Cognitive Load, Course Design Quality, Engagement, and Online Community Between Text Only and Multimedia Rich Courses
Torria Davis (Instructional Designer, California Baptist University)

Decision Support Culture Shift

Chris Gill (Chief Information Technology Officer, Drake University) | Christine Marchand (Institutional Research and Academic Compliance Coordinator, Drake University) | Mitchell Stearns (Data Analyst, Drake University)

In this presentation, we will examine the adoption of a BI system at Drake University. Creating the right structure for institutional decision support requires a cultural shift for the campus, its leaders, technology departments, and institutional researchers. We will discuss the past failures that have informed our current successes and address the pitfalls of not providing the proper groundwork for both the campus and the tool providers. Using a set of steps that will be shared during the presentation, Information Technology Services and Institutional Research have worked together towards implementing and shaping a Decision Support Culture at Drake. Attendees of the presentation will be leaving with these steps to take back to their own institutions.

Improving Online Student Outcomes with Analytics

Paul O’Brien (VP of Institutional Technology & CIO, Indian River State College) | Kendall St. Hilaire (Dean of the Virtual Campus, Indian River State College)

Building upon the foundation of the learning analytics platform developed in 2015, Indian River State College (IRSC) has continued to foster the adoption of analytics and the use of data by stakeholders across the institution. Professional development on the use of analytics and data has been offered to faculty, athletic coaches, administrators and advisors, resulting in College-wide use of the various analytics reports. In addition to learning analytics, IRSC has implemented Blackboard Predict, a resource that provides a prediction on the likelihood of students passing a course with a C- or higher. These weekly predictions, which include a “Week Zero” prediction before the start of a term, allow advisors and faculty to make targeted preventions, rather than interventions.

Outcomes & Assessment

Measuring General Education Assessment & Institutional Core Competencies at Central Piedmont Community College
Kara Bosch (Director, Financial Information Systems & BI Solutions, Central Piedmont Community College)

Leveraging BlackBoard Outcomes Assessment as a Continuous Improvement Strategy at Amarillo College
Tina M. Babb (Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Amarillo College)

This session will examine how Amarillo College utilizes the Blackboard Outcomes Assessment application as an assessment method for continuous improvement. This has led to the creation of a five-year cycle of assessment of student learning outcomes that has never been easier! Not only has this application saved a lot of time in the conversion from hard-copy artifact assessment to assessing on a digital platform, we also have a secondary benefit of addressing several of our SACS-COC accreditation standards. Our process also encourages faculty participation in our institution wide assessment plan by having this assessment tool housed in the same application as their LMS for course content and grading.

In particular, we leverage this technology to assess our institutional student learning outcomes (ISLOs) for general education competency assessment as well as our program student learning outcomes (PSLOs) at the program level. We recently completed a pilot of this application and went live with a full implementation in the fall 2017 semester. We are in the data analysis phase and can demonstrate the data from our assessment work.

Analytics for Student Success

Data analytics: A tool for aligning resources to achieve enrollment and student success goals
Maria Thompson, Ph.D. (President, Coppin State University)

 

Advising the Advisors!
Chris Brandt (Strategic Information Analyst, Concordia University-Wisconsin) & Andy Miller (Director of Academic Advising and Retention, ‎Concordia University-Wisconsin)

This presentation will focus on Concordia’s complete solution- the context, the problem, the solution- beginning with a simple customization to the delivered BBA Advisor Dimension enabling Academic Advising to take advantage of Pyramid BI Office features. Concordia University Wisconsin leveraged this functionality to guide the processes; ensuring a consistent student experience through advisor action. See how CUW Academic Advising turned this feature into tactics for a report distribution related to student success that has generated the embrace of campus-wide retention efforts in a community where advising is not centralized.

AI & Ethics in Higher Education

Van Davis, Ph.D (Associate Vice President of Higher Education Research and Policy, Blackboard Inc.) & John Whitmer, Ed.D (Director of Analytics and Research, Blackboard Inc.)

Improving your institutional readiness for Learning Analytics

Andy Ramsden (Senior Strategic Consultant, Strategy & Transformation Services, Blackboard Inc) &
Chad Kainz (Principal Strategist, Strategy & Transformation Services, Blackboard, Inc.)

The broad aims of this workshop are to transfer ideas and approaches for how you may both assess and improve your institutional readiness for implementing and/or scaling up you learning analytics initiatives.

This is achieved through: (1) identifying the key determinants of readiness through discussing the findings from 16 institutional assessments undertaken by Blackboard Consultancy in the UK Higher Education Sector, (2) developing a self assessment tool which you can use at your institution, and (3) developing a three step model you can use to drive adoption within your institution. The workshop is based on a version of one we have delivered at many campuses around the world. At campuses where we have led this kind of 3-day workshop the feedback has been, it’s been extremely important in shaping a more scaleable solution for an institution to implement their analytics solution

The assessment of institutional readiness will encompass strategy readiness, technical readiness and cultural readiness, including policy, processes, systems and people. The self assessment tool will draw upon existing Learning Analytics maturity models to provide a quick indication of readiness and a mechanism to promote discussions with senior managers within your institution.

This is intended as a collaborative group workshop, where the expected outcome is you’ll be able to return to your institution and implement these good practices.

Technical Training for Blackboard Intelligence and Analytics for Learn

Bob Taticek (Principal Technical Consultant, Blackboard Analytics)

This technical workshop will begin with an overview of the opportunities for modifying and extending the Blackboard Intelligence data models and the methodology for implementing changes. The focus will be on design considerations and options using current “hot topics” from recent implementations as samples. Time will be reserved at the end of the session to address general module management and customization questions from attendees. Technical and functional consultants will be on hand to walk through specific challenges you have encountered in customizing Blackboard Intelligence to meet the specific needs of your institution.

What does learning analytics mean for higher education? An industry perspective

The future of learning analytics lies at the intersection of higher education, research, and product innovation.  As expertise grows in each of these specific domains, it can be challenging to gain a sense of where the industry is going as a whole.  In this concluding session of the Blackboard Analytics Symposium, we will invite leading industry analysts to comment on the current state and future direction of learning analytics.  Is learning analytics passé? What are the biggest challenges facing analytics adoption today?  How are researchers, practitioners, and vendors grappling with issues of privacy and ethics?  Addressing these questions from a synthetic perspective will provide symposium participants with a frame through which to more meaningfully consider big data and education in the 21st century.

Moderator:

  • Timothy Harfield (Blackboard Analytics)

Panelists:

  • James Wiley (Eduventures)
  • Joyce Kim (Ovum)
  • Alan Greenberg (Wainhouse)

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