Activity Data Synthesis

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Tabbloid: 20 July 2011

It's been a fairly busy week on the project blogs and no doubt will continue in that manner over the next few weeks as the projects publish their final blogposts.

The AGtivity team in particular have been busy and are producing some interesting stuff, including a couple of hot off the press posts that aren't included in this week's Tabbloid:
  • Ahead of tomorrow's Online Exchange on the subject of Data Visualisation there's a timely post on the different ways that activity data can be visualised and the challenge that presents when choosing which visualisation to show the end user.
  • A breakdown of the numbers of data items the project has processed.
  • A first pass at writing up the project's Wins and Fails - no doubt the various data headaches they've had to deal with will chime strongly with a fair few of the other projects.
  • The 'Tale of Two Rooms' case study the team have compiled gives a good insight into the stories that the AGtivity data can tell - it also demonstrates how important contextual information is for making sensible interpretations of the data.
The LIDP project have been delving further into the data behind *that* graph (you'll recognise it when you see it) and have come up with the interesting conclusion that the differentiating behaviour is replicated year by year. It's got me wondering about what type and scale of intervention would be needed to buck the trend. I'm also wondering whether the students with higher outcomes might also be going to the library earlier in each term (and therefore having a wider choice of books) than their course mates.

These sorts of wonderings are some of the things that the LIDP team have been discussing while they've been out on the road sharing the project outcomes so far.

On their blog there's also a (slightly stolen) guest post from one of the LIDP project partners - Paul Stainthorp looks back at what they had to do to get at their data, how they wrangled it into one giant .csv file and how they discovered one of their datasets was missing.

On Twitter, Amber Thomas shared a link to an interesting article about how some of the for-profit universities in the US, such as Kaplan, APUS and Phoenix are surprisingly open to the idea of sharing data on student success with their not-for-profit competitors.

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