Utilizing dashboards to show performance indicators in Competency-Based Education
Abstract: Higher education researchers and administrators have increased the use and adoption of learning analytics and dashboard platforms, in order to measure, monitor and manage program performance more effectively. Dashboards compile key performance indicators in a user friendly interface, so that leadership teams can quickly visualize the current conditions of the organization (West, 2012). According to Google’s Chief Economist, Dr. Hal Varian, “The ability to take data – to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it – that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades” (2009). Closing on a decade later, most organizations, particularly innovators in higher education, surely agree. The current study tracks real-time program data, for the state of Texas’s first public, regionally accredited (SACSCOC) competency-based baccalaureate degree at Texas A&M University- Commerce, using WebFOCUS Dashboard Portal. Key metrics were built, so that it may serve as the beginning of a common conceptual framework for competency-based programs not only in the state of Texas, but Nationwide. A dashboard portal allows higher education administrators and staff, to easily identify patterns and trends that grant glimpses of insight and assist in building value around the data. Coupling the data with narrative creates the opportunity for extended value with the potential to influence stakeholder buy-in and drive innovative change. The CBE Dashboard portal provides a historical overview of the program’s growth, demographic information of enrolled students and their performance across different target variables. The dashboard also showcases the efficiency of program graduates and provides a program to program comparison with a traditional comparable group. This presentation demonstrates that implementing a business intelligence data dashboard could improve efficacy in data retrieval and optimize data analysis to promote a data-informed culture on a university campus.
Ajogu Idoko-Akoh*, Carlos Rivers, and Shonda Gibson
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