Learner analytics student FAQs

Proposition: Research supports the simple notion that the more students are involved in their educational experience, the better they do.

What's UWE Bristol doing?: We're piloting a system that will help you visualise how involved you are with your course and compare yourself to your peers. As this is a pilot not all students will be included. The Learner Analytics Student Privacy Notice has more details on how exactly the pilot will work and the data that will be used.

The UWE Bristol Learner Analytics video has been created to give you an overview of how the system will be used to support you.

Why is UWE Bristol running this pilot?

With this pilot UWE are aiming to provide a support system to students that is proactive rather than reactive, to offer help rather than waiting for students to ask for it.

When will the pilot start?

The pilot will be starting this academic year and you will be informed via email when you will be able to log on and view your engagement data.

As this is a pilot there might be some discrepancies in the system, if you come across any issues please go to any UWE Information Point for assistance.

Can I opt out?

The data that we are using is information the university is already collecting but should you not wish your data to be used in this way you do have the right to opt-out. The Learner Analytics Privacy notice will give you more detail on how to do this.

Who will my data be shared with?

Key members of staff within Professional Services will be able to see the data so that they are able to step in and provide advice and support if needed. Programme Leaders and Academic Personal Tutors will also be able to see the data for the same reason but they will be able to see their students only.

You will also have access to your data but not that of other students.

What do you track?

Throughout the pilot we will record when you do any of the following:

  • Logging on to Blackboard
  • Viewing course content on Blackboard
  • Handing in a piece of coursework
  • Submitting coursework on Blackboard
  • Taking out books from the library
  • Viewing library e-resources and journals
  • Viewing the online reading list
  • Printing, scanning or photocopying documents
  • Logging in to a UWE Bristol computer

How does it work?

During the pilot, the data will be analysed throughout the year using a web application called StREAM. All the data from all the students on a course will be aggregated into a 'typical' engagement level. Your data will then be compared to this 'typical' engagement level. The more you use the systems (detailed under 'What do you track') the higher your engagement score.

If you don't use the systems very often you may fall in to the lower engagement categories. If this is the case for you the system will send you an email outlining what the next steps are. This could be that a member of staff will be contacting you soon to make sure you're ok and if you have any questions or concerns. The only reason you will be called is to see how we can help - sometimes it's nice to not have to start the conversation yourself. If you do want some support the Student Support Advisers will be able to advise, book you an appointment or even refer you to another service if necessary.

How will this help me?

By being able to view a picture of your engagement with UWE Bristol resources we can take a proactive step to support you.  One of the first signs that a student may require support is a drop in their engagement with their course. This is not about checking up on you and nobody will ever be disciplined for low engagement. Different people engage in different ways. This is just so we can support our students and no students will ever be disciplined for low engagement.

We know that the earlier we are able to support students, the more successful they can be.

What requirements are there on me?

You don't need to do anything. The data will be collected throughout the year and if you are interested in seeing what your own data looks like you can log on to the dashboard at any time. You will be sent a link to the dashboard ahead of the pilot start date.

When I go to log on to StREAM I am being asked to register for Multi-factor authentication - what does this mean?

When you first log on to the system you will be required to register with Multi Factor Authentication (MFA). MFA is an additional layer of security that adds phone verification to your password and you will need to register in order to access StREAM.

Further information on MFA is included in the 'User Access' section of the Learner Analytics Guide.

Is there an attendance recording aspect to this?

No, though we are hoping to add this in the future.

Could I be withdrawn based on the data you gather?

No, the information we are collecting is being used to offer support to students as and when required in a confidential and timely manner.

I'm an adult, why are you checking up on me?

The Learner Analytics pilot isn't about checking up on you. We understand that people may sometimes find it difficult to ask for help when they need it and even if they are able to do so, they might not know where to go or what help is available to them. By having an eye on your engagement, we can reach out to you if necessary and offer support in a confidential and timely manner.

If you would like support then we will do our best to help and we won't enter anything on to the system without your consent. The system is only here to benefit you by allowing us to offer support at an earlier stage.

No students will be penalised for having a low engagement level.

What's the SU's position on this?

The Students' Union at UWE has been a part of the project since the beginning. Student wellbeing is a primary concern for the SU and they have been consulting with us to ensure that this remains a priority for the project.

Did you consult with students about this?

The Students' Union at UWE President and the VP for Education are elected by the student body every year and represent the students' point of view at Project meetings and have done so since the beginning.

How do I see my data?

You will be able to see your data by logging on to the dashboard with your UWE username and password.  You will be sent the link ahead of the pilot start date.

How will you use my data in the future (e.g. as benchmarking) and how long will it be retained?

The information provided will only be used for the purpose of viewing a student's engagement with the University unless you are informed otherwise. Further information can be found within the Student Privacy Notice.

Where can I go for more information?

If you have any questions that have not been covered here please go to any UWE Info Point for assistance.

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