Inside Higher Ed examines the power of “big data” provided by a research database that measures 33 variables for the online coursework of 640,000 students–that’s three million course-level records. While the work is far from complete, the variables help track student performance and retention across a broad range of demographic factors. This kind of data can indicate what is most effective at specific types of institutions.
The ongoing data-mining effort launched last year with a $1-million grant from the Gates Foundation. The effort is led by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET).