This month in EDUCAUSE

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My name is Irene Knokh and I’m the EDUCAUSE ambassador for U-M. I share articles of interest, upcoming trends, and advocate on your behalf for EDUCAUSE.

EDUCAUSE Showcase: “Steering Analytics Towards an Equitable Future”

EDUCAUSE continues its Showcase series. This month’s focus is on using analytics to support Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) goals for students, faculty, and staff. 

The motto of analytics in higher education is “do no harm.” More is needed, however. In “EDUCAUSE QuickPoll Results: Using Analytics to Advance Equity Goals,” the author Jenay Robert argues the importance of connecting IT and analytics for advancing DEI. IT departments are critical in advancing DEI goals. The challenges are departmental silos and work in progress–connecting all the stakeholders plus getting leadership support. Many institutions are now exploring or testing options for meshing DEI and analytics. DEI professionals collaborate with IT staff to  support institutional goals. For instance, dashboards could be made clearer and easier to read so that the support to students can be more tailored and offered in advance. It is not enough to gather the data-it has to be analyzed and used.If it reveals problems, what can be done? 

Connect leaders, students, faculty,  and staff; create focus and communities of practice. Talk to each other. Review the “Promising Practices” section of the article and check out multiple DEI and analytics community groups. 

Don’t make assumptions-if in doubt, then ask the question. Analytics is about learning and understanding the data-not just gathering it. 

Put it in practice: Analytics and DEI at UC Merced: An EDUCAUSE Research Case Study“ 

Review the case study at California-Merced to see how the institution addressed the DEI challenges of supporting LatinX  students-many from first generation underserved communities (San Joaquin Valley is the agriculture area of the state and thus has a lot of migrant farm workers). The institution is working on developing data analytics that will address DEI issues from the start so that concerns can be considered and addressed sooner. The infrastructure is weaved with DEI (EDI in Merced) in mind. Current concentration is on reviewing and looking at student data, however, more will be coming later for staff and faculty. Review the Analytics hub. 

What are your thoughts? How are the challenges of first generation students addressed at U-M?

Are our U-M data hubs easy to read and access?

“See” you next month!


If you have any questions about the content, tidbits you’d like to share, or anything EDUCAUSE related, email Irene Knokh, instructional design and technology consultant, Professional Development and Education for Nursing, or Chris Eagle, EDUCAUSE coordinator for U-M.