New briefing explores Purdue’s student success tracker Forecast

Forecast is an application that analyzes Purdue student data to create meaning for those same Purdue students and guide them to behaviors shown to correlate to academic success.

There are now two components to the app: Campus Forecast, which looks at Purdue data at a university-wide level, and Course Forecast, which zeros in on data for individual courses.

According to the latest briefing from the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness (OIRAE), the Forecast team, which consisted of OIRAE and Teaching and Learning Technologies from ITaP, worked in particular to find meaning in the data that had significant relationships with one of three target dependent variables: course grades, semester GPA and on-time graduation.

A public forum on the report will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, October 16, in Rawls Hall, Room 2082.

Campus Forecast focuses on general behaviors, such “Compare Your GPA,” a feature that shows a student their GPA compared to the average GPA of other students who graduated on time with the same major. Course Forecast focuses on behaviors that correlate positively to success in a specific course. Examples include attendance and aspects of Blackboard usage. The app also offers pointers to actions students can take to improve.

A four-person committee of external reviewers spent two days with the Forecast team, gathering information to write an external review. Highlights from the report are:

  • The scope of the overall effort was impressive.
  • The app’s nudges would improve if the model were segmented to look at sub-populations within the Purdue student body, such as first generation students or at-risk students.
  • They recommended that the team pursue some explanatory modeling, instead of just correlative, to help make the nudges more robust.

The Forecast team is working on a second release of the application, scheduled to become available in August 2018.

To read September’s briefing visit:
http://www.purdue.edu/oirae/documents/OIRAE_Briefings/Forecast_Sept_2017.pdf 

For more information on Forecast, visit the Forecast website.

Writer: Kirsten Gibson, technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-494-8190, gibson33@purdue.edu 

Last updated: October 9, 2017

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