What is data science? Data science is the use of scientific methods to collect and process data. It is an interdisciplinary field that makes use of all forms of data. Data science machine learning makes use of mathematics, computer science, information science, and statistics. It is a growing and promising field of knowledge that has already affected many industries, including education. The application of data science tools is immense, especially when it comes to numerical representation of academic results and outcomes. Big data analytics may help in resolving problems in education through the ability to focus on specific groups of students. However, we have to admit that we do not have enough big data in education yet. The opportunities it provides can be assessed judging from its successful use in other fields. Moving towards having more data analytics in education is helpful at least in determining how effective certain policies and initiatives are.
The use of data analytics has increased over the past years, and the best thing about big data is that it can be highly useful in any field, including education. Schools and universities have stored enormous amounts of data, including academic records, tests results, grades, etc. However, little has been done to this amassed data due to obsolete privacy policies or limited technical capabilities. However, big data and analytics of this information could do a big favor to the student learning enhancement. The adoption of technologies could promote better data gathering and improve the effectiveness of test score data analysis. For example, modern data science tools could analyze the level of knowledge of algebra across the entire country, splitting data into federal, state, regional, and local levels. Here are some of the advantages of using big data in education:
1. Improve Adaptive Learning
Each student learns differently. This is a bit of a challenge when it comes to selecting which methods to use in a classroom, but big data can help teachers implement adaptive learning techniques. Big data tools help teachers to teach students according to the individual abilities of students.
2. Better Parent Engagement
Teachers can use big data analytics to track and evaluate a student’s performance. Parents can use this information to help resolve any issues that may be affecting their child’s performance. Most importantly, educators and families should understand that there is nothing more informative than the data collected over the years. It may trigger significant positive changes in the educational system that will lead to a decrease in public costs and an improvement in the overall levels of knowledge children have. Data analytics can provide valuable insight into the efficiency of specific academic initiatives and the factors that enhance learner’s success.
3. Better Assess Teachers
Big data makes it easier for administrators to monitor and assess teachers by helping you to determine which methods and teachers are most effective. The information you gather can also be used to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of teachers during performance evaluations. School archives usually stored a broad range of learner data, including previous learning activities, grades, attendance, parental income, family, health concerns, extracurriculars, talents, etc. Universities also collected data on the scientific interests of students and their institutional statistics. Most of the schools worldwide do very little with the wealth of data they have at hand. For example, these aggregated data could serve as a fundamental basis for a comprehensive social, economic or demographic research at the local level.
4. Improve Student Performance
Because you can track the test scores of each student, it is easy to assess a student’s performance. With this information, you can then try to make changes that will benefit the student and find out if the student ever asked that desperate question “Does anyone can do my assignment for me?” to help them with projects. If a student’s performance deteriorates, big data can help the teachers determine the cause of the problem. The existing data can be integrated into more advanced data research if we employ social networks. Learning management systems could be turned into something similar to social networks, where analysis of educational outcomes will occur as naturally as Facebook analyses out preferences. However, it takes time to develop and implement such big data analytics solutions.
5. Better Organization
From an organizational point of view, big data is equally useful, because it can help schools to become better organized. Big data and analytics can use the help summary to improve how an educational institution organizes logistics, human resources, and business operations. Education is a complex field, and before taking any big data analytics action, it is important to evaluate the analytics models and understand in which context they do not work or provide invalid information. However, challenges and problems should not prevent the adoption of learning analytics. Instead, they should shape the way for the use of data science in Education.
6. Student Recruitment
All educational facilities, from elementary schools to universities, can use big data in their enrollment efforts by using it to find out which educational programs are best suited for incoming children. To learn big data and advance in Education analytics should become a top priority for new Data Science graduates. Young and experienced specialists should be interested in promoting the idea of learning big data in Education. This field is so new that it promises a wide range of scientific breakthroughs and meaningful conclusions. Moreover, the youth interested in data science will have an opportunity to provide a dramatic structural change in education that will affect thousands of data science graduates in the future. Learning analytics can serve as a fundamental source for a big change in education, allowing teachers to better understand the needs of students, alter curriculum, assess progress, and allocate resources.
Big data projects and tools are an important tool in the educational sector due to these reasons and benefits. More resources should be directed into big data, because it will completely improve learning outcomes, student performance, and teacher effectiveness. If you learn big data, the rewards can be boundless!
Author Bio: Jeff Blaylock is a PhD in psychology who has been interested in science since his childhood. Started with small childish experiments in dad’s garage and grew to a compelling writer with thought-provoking articles on education and science. He creates reviews of any unusual and captivating hi-tech product and adores spending time browsing scientific publications online.