SunGard launches early intervention system
Dubai, October 17, 2010
Course Signals, an early intervention system that warns students who are at risk of underperforming in a course and facilitates faculty intervention and support, is now available to higher education institutions.
The solution is a joint effort by SunGard Higher Education and Purdue University, a report said.
Course Signals is built upon a predictive model developed by John Campbell, Ph D, associate vice president, academic technologies, at Purdue University. The solution allows an institution to combine information already available within campus systems (including student information systems, learning management systems and gradebooks) to determine whether a student is at risk of failing or withdrawing from a course as early as the second week of the semester or quarter.
Based on the data, the solution displays a red, yellow or green signal to students and faculty, indicating a student’s status in a course in real time. A red light indicates a high likelihood of failing a course; yellow indicates a potential problem of succeeding; and green signals a high likelihood of succeeding. Students view the signal within the institution’s learning management system and also receive it via e-mail. Along with the signal, students receive suggested resources and recommended courses of action from faculty as needed.
An example of SunGard’s Open Digital Campus strategy, which aims to give institutions more flexibility to shape how technology meets their evolving needs, Course Signals is architected to be compatible with a variety of student information systems and learning management systems.
In the initial release, Course Signals will work with SunGard Higher Education’s Banner Digital Campus and PowerCampus Digital Campus, and Oracle’s PeopleSoft student information systems. It also supports various releases of learning management systems from Blackboard, reflecting the goals of the partnership between SunGard Higher Education and Blackboard to deliver better integration and support services to mutual customers. Integration with other student and learning management systems is planned.
“The predictive model in Course Signals gives students a good indication very early in the course of how they are performing, and whether they are starting to lag behind others in the class. This very early alert to the student is extremely valuable, even in populations where you might not think it is necessary,” said Campbell. “Signals is helping Purdue
improve retention rates by identifying underperforming students early on and providing them with course-specific advice on how to change their trajectory.”
At Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City (MCC), a beta site for Course Signals, key benefits of the solution include its ability to pull demographic information from the college’s PeopleSoft student information system into the predictive model, and its ease of use for faculty.
“We have a lot of students who are the first in their families to attend college, or who have other demographics that indicate they might be at risk early on,” said Tuesday Stanley, Ph D, vice chancellor of administrative services and student development at MCC. “The other solutions we have seen only consider grades when identifying at-risk students. The inclusion of demographics, as well as effort, is a critical piece of the equation in helping these students succeed.
'Also, Course Signals streamlines the process for faculty making it easier for them to reach out to students who need extra support. Other solutions require faculty to do considerable upfront work to set it up and are cumbersome to execute,” Stanley.
Course Signals will be showcased at the SunGard Higher Education Middle East User Group held from December 12 – 14, at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, UAE. - TradeArabia News Service
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