To allow institutions to study the patterns of performance of students, quality of teachers and map it easily,Big Data can help in leveraging the positive feedback feels Dr. Jayaprakash, Co-founder and VP, Nanobi Data and Analytics
What is the role of Big Data in changing the education system?
Education has always been viewed as a system that helps the students to create a ‘bent of mind.’ For example a chemical engineer after graduation need not get employed in chemical engineering industry but as a software developer. This is done based on the assumption that the student will cope-up with software coding learning and unlearning chemical engineering. With the growth of big data, the changes are arriving. Students are getting exposures to various updates on industries, opportunities, their interest levels, success and failure stories of a course and opportunities etc.
Such changes give rise to two important changes (a) Dynamism in changing the syllabus according to the changing patterns (b) Improvements in the teaching quality with updated contents than obsolete contents.
We know that Big Data is a tool to drive innovation in education and that teacher quality impacts student achievement. So how can we use Big Data to improve teacher quality with the ultimate goal of increasing student achievement?
The quality of the teacher always depends upon the continuous learning of the teachers. Channelising the required information and updates to the teachers can improve the student achievement.For example, lot of curated public data is available on various segments like health, education etc. and many of them are available for free. In those days,teachers used to refer only the research papers that was published in the past and teach based on the research outcomes.Curated public data enables the teachers with updated information on a specific subject on daily basis with trending patterns.
Similarly techniques like sentimental analysis, word counts enable text mining with more accuracies so that even non-numeric data can also be analysed quickly to provide more information.Teachers when they teach the students and guide them the ways to follow a specific trend can trigger lot of brainstorming sessions among students and create many sparks and solutions.
What are the benefits of adopting Big Data at University level? Will changes related to Big Data come fast to institutions?
Benefits of the technology are reduced drop outs, improvised knowledge for both teachers and students, platform to compare, map the gaps and grow faster,and pose as trendy and updated geeks.
Many leading universities have started work on Big Data, some have started using predictive models and solving some challenges. Such predictive models use both data from college systems and also external data. When more success stories emerge from such universities with one of the reason could be Big Data adoption, many institutions are likely to follow them creating a big market for Big Data.
What is the rate of adopting Big Data in education?
Currently, the rate of adoption is very low. The challenge that I foresee is because of two factors (a) Key decision makers are busy with their regular activities and not finding time to think about it (b) Even if some decision makers want to know and implement, there are lot of confusions about the implementation time frame, budget constraints,adoption level, resistance to adopt etc.
What is the challenge that you see amongst the teachers?
There can be reluctance in getting trained on Big Data Analytics as many a times the teachers have heaps of regular work. The solution to this is to provide the analytics as a mobile app with simple learning curve.
What are your suggestions for predictive models?
Tools have emerged wherein even non-statistical background person can run statistical models on click of the button.Education sector is the best to leverage upon such initiatives.