Thursday, 2 January 2014

Analytics in Education - Time for Change by Dr.S.Jayaprakash

The role of education in the contemporary world is not mere knowledge creation but creating a ‘bent of mind’ for the students to adapt themselves to this competitive environment. Not all the science students end up as scientists, similarly engineering students as relevant engineers. A chemical engineer lands up as Java programmer and a science graduate works for a courier firm yet they still work exceptionally well with the basic concepts that was taught in their schools and colleges which is called as ‘Bent of Mind’. In the previous century, rank system was implemented to analyse the students (rank as a way of analytics), then grade system emerged (grade as a measure to analyze and categorize) with the growing complexity of measures and opportunities, complex analytics are required to understand the student aspirations, potential to map  the opportunities and their probability to succeed.

The world is becoming more dynamic, volatile and complex today.  It is a universal truth that “Education is the key for the growth of any individual in this complex world”.  Students join the educational stream and aspire to become a successful person relatively with respect to his/her friends, family, peers and others.

The purpose of education is now to create the required ‘Bent of Mind’ for the student to adapt themselves and take up the opportunity. This makes the chemistry graduate a successful accounting employee and an architect as a successful java programmer.

How long can we run successfully on the basis of “Bent of Mind” concept? The existing educational system was created long back to create lot of clerical jobs only. Thanks to the computerization, many aspects of teaching have been computerized.  Innovative teaching models like ‘Computer Based Training” has evolved in the past two decades taking teaching methods to new heights.  Objective based learning has taken center stage and even competitive exams have been oriented towards objective evaluation. The point is that the world has recognized the need for objective based learning thereby preparing the students to win over competitions, thus making a marked shift from the earlier models of teaching.

In summary, teaching methodology and the drive among majority of students has considerably improved.

Couple of decades back, any information about opportunities can be accessed only through word of mouth, newspapers or library only. Now lot of public information is available over web as public data. With the technological evolution, why can’t we derive technology to map the opportunities with the individual potential of the students to excel in their aspirations?

Any common man may observe that various sporting activities have started using analytics as a crucial element to weed out the competition. Let us take an example of cricket, batting styles of batsman are analysed in various angles and bowler focuses his attack on the basis of the findings of the analysis.

So, what does this Analytics Does?

  •  Evaluate students across a set of more than 100 skill sets – It is also customizable to start with simply marks and attendance and expand to more skills 
  • Helps the students, parents, teachers to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the students and channelize the efforts accordingly
  • It also gives an overview of the student activities in a snapshot
  • The analytics will be available on mobiles and can be carried out easily at any place and at any point of time. 
  •  Easy upload options, most schools will be using only the excel sheet for analytics. The analytics will enable the users to upload the same excel sheets for more analytics.
  •  Analytics can be expanded to integrate advanced statistical predictive models as well.
  •  Improves the brand image of the school or college amongst the parents community.


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