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OU’s Early Alert Indicators Dashboard (EAID) earns High Commendation at HESPA awards

Nancy Pontika, Thursday 8 Feb 2024

The OU has been highly commended at the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA) Awards for its innovative use of data to enhance student success. The institution’s pioneering project, the Early Alert Indicators Dashboard (EAID), popularly known as OU Analyse (OUA), was recognised for its transformative impact on student outcomes in remote learning environments.

With over 200,000 students worldwide, the OU faces the challenge of ensuring student retention and performance in a distance learning setting. Traditional face-to-face interactions are limited, necessitating proactive measures to identify and support struggling students.

Ideated at the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) by OU’s emeritus professor Zdenek Zdrahal, the EAID was developed to address this challenge by leveraging data analytics to identify students at risk of dropping out or underperforming. Extensive pilot programs and research have validated the effectiveness of the EAID, with significant improvements in student completion and passing rates observed. 

Vice Chancellor, Tim Blackman, has championed the integration of the EAID university-wide, emphasising the importance of technological innovation in enhancing student learning outcomes. Educators have highlighted the EAID as a valuable tool for refining teaching methods and maintaining a proactive approach to student progress.

The success of the EAID underscores the importance of a holistic approach to technology integration in education, with ongoing support and collaboration between teachers, pedagogical experts and technologists. As the OU continues to innovate in educational practices, the EAID serves as a model for enhancing student support and performance on a large scale.

Receiving high commendation at the HESPA Awards is a testament to the OU’s commitment to leveraging data-driven insights for the benefit of its students, reaffirming its position as a leader in Learning Analytics.

Professor Miriam Fernandez, who leads this work, has said “This award highlights the impact of more than a decade of research and innovation at the OU and serves as a testament to the tireless dedication of colleagues who have collectively designed, developed, evaluated, and championed this project. I also want to emphasise the vital role of our ALs, STs, and Module Teams in utilising this system to support our students, as their work and contributions are instrumental in supporting our students and driving them towards success.”



OU Analyse

The OU Analyse project is piloting new machine learning based methods for early identification of students who are at risk of failing.

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