Thursday, February 2, 2017

Predictive Analytics in Education

According to The New Times, today, less than half of the students who attend college graduate in four years.  Why does it take students more than four years to earn a college degree?  Colleges and universities have begun to use predictive analytics to determine why most students are taking more than four years to graduate.  Colleges and universities are using predictive analytics to analyze current data and historical facts to better understand students and their college courses.  Predictive analytics are giving colleges and universities a new way to explore why current students change their major, do poorly in classes while trying to guide students down a pathway for success.  Predictive analytics is helping to identify trends in the data, which monitor a student’s progress and alert advisers when students go off track.
            Predictive analytics has identified that there are too many useless courses in college.  Colleges and universities lack useful courses that can help students to be better people and better employees in the future.  Personally, I believe that psychology is the most important course in colleges and universities because it helps students to understand themselves and others comprehensively.   I took a psychology course over the summer and it taught me to realize who I am and what I want exactly.  Predictive analytics has identified that students who took two years of psychology chose the curriculum path that best suited them.
            Predictive analytics was used to prove that the curriculum in most colleges and universities focuses to heavily on theory.  Most textbooks are theories and the theories and models are set and proved in idealistic situations.  Final exams have students reciting theories, while businesses want students to know how to use them.  In my accounting principles class, we learned what company structure is but we did not learn how to form one.  I believe a simple solution would be to form a company inside our class, elect the CEO and the different department managers.  But unfortunately in my summer course, there was no time in class to put theory into practice.
            I agree with colleges and universities that predictive analytics is a crucial technological tool that can help students be more successful in the classroom and then later after graduating. A college education helps students complete the transition from student to social person. 
            One of the most important decisions a student will ever make is their choice of a career.  A student’s career choice will have an important influence on their future well-being, happiness and self-fulfillment. Predictive analytics has allowed students to choose a course carefully leading to the profession that a student chooses in the future.  Predictive analytics has proven that a student will earn better grades in college if that student chooses a major that fits their personality.  As Former United States President Barack Obama said to students, “Every single one of you has something that you’re good at.  Every single one of you has something to offer.  And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is.  That’s the opportunity an education can provide.”

1 comment:

matt cannon said...

The idea that colleges focus too much on theories is a very interesting idea, and so is the idea that analytics were used to find this out. It is a very broad statement to say that theories are not important or useful to learn. Understanding theories and being able to apply them to real life situations, in my experience, is what separates the students who actually understand what they are learning and the students who don’t. Education isn’t just based off facts because theories provide the framework for growth in education. Without theories it would be impossible to grow because theories are meant to be disproven or proven as fact. So in fact, theories I see are some of the most important things that you can learn as a student. Also, I don’t quite understand how data analytics can predict something like this. I think learning is subjective especially relevant to the subject. If you look at a major like political science, it is a major that is heavily focused on theory and that’s the back bone of the major. Without theory there would be no political science. Even with business as well theories are important. If you look at our economy and the type of market we operate in, it based of the theory of the invisible hand introduced by Adam Smith. Theories provide the structure that is applied to real life which allows for everything we have today. Without theory there would be no fact. I don’t necessarily agree with the thought that colleges can benefit from a type of study like this. I say this because times are always changing and that’s exactly where theories come to benefit us. Theories are something that can be applied at any time given a situation. Since the world is constantly changing and always adapting, without theories it would be near impossible for society to change with them. The most important thing that theories provide is the platform for creativity. Creativity is important regardless of what major because it allows for people to stretch the boundaries and reach new potentials that haven’t been reached before. I don’t think data analytics will ever be able to provide information on what needs to be thought and what doesn’t. In an always changing world theories guide us towards what Is beneficial and what isn’t.