Notes from Leveraging Learning Analytics to Build a Culture of Evidence-Based Decision Making #BbWorld14

Presented by James Mabry and Sasan Poureetezadi from Mesa Community College.

They implemented a culture change to a new approach called Informed Improvement.

Five phases of Informed Improvement:
Identify a Need > Research and Analyze > Decide & Plan > Take Action > Assess Impact (then rinse and repeat)

Initiative Completion vs Culture Change
Based on the premise that the world is changing around us, which means that education needs to change (faster than our traditional pace in education). Magic moments of education won’t change, but the form, location, and modality of those will.

Initiatives are about getting things done, measuring results, and moving on. This is very transactional. Culture change has to be more than this

Culture change requires empowerment to enact lasting change. Had to involve more than IT. Ongoing success of culture change needs to be reinforced and guided.

Leadership Strategies
1. Assess institutional capacity for change
2. Exploit opportunities wisely (like accreditation cycles)
3. Adapt or modify, don’t change
4. Relate to the known
5. Appeal to core values
6. Keep it simple
7. Communicate in multiple modalities and settings
8. Repeat often

Top Down Bottom Up Approach
Support and resources from administration is top down. It doesn’t need to have a huge budget, but constituents need to know it is supported by the university. Participants need to feel rewarded and provided incentives.

Evidence based ideas, proposals, and solutions has to be bottom up. Requires participants to be committed to success and improving the institution.

Democratizing Data
Providing access to others on campus, beyond just the research office. Trying to empower campus with data, including Faculty, staff, and long term goal for student access.

This creates a culture of evidenced based decision making that doesn’t crate a bottle neck based on the finite resources of Institutional Resources

Data infrastructures > connected to SIS, other data sources. Available and accessible

Data Governance
An institutional issue, not just IT. How the institution manages and utilizes data

A set of formal processes to manage data assets to ensure data integrity and promote the proper use of evidence based decision making. Collaboratively developed and approved through college shared governance structures.

Building and Nurturing partnerships
Both internal and external
Creating a shared sense of ownership


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