Steve May

Steve May is a Senior Researcher within the Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice at Kingston University where he oversees and contributes to a range of projects and chairs its research ethics committee. He was academic lead of the Kingston Education Research Network up to 2015 and led the university Student Retention Project to completion in 2003. His research interests are around social mobility and the experience and attainment of students from diverse backgrounds. Before entering Higher Education, Steve was a Further Education lecturer and a researcher in the steel industry. Steve May Senior Researcher, Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice (CHERP), Kingston University Tel: 020 8417 5646 Email:

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Tag to track? Analytics to measure the impact of educational policies

Analytics, or the utilisation of user data to enhance education, derives from business intelligence and has received considerable attention over the last few years (Cooper, 2012; Goldstein and Katz 2005). In the context of institutional research, it is argued that data can aid the decision making, implementation and analysis of policy and change (e.g. Saupe, 1990), and that new forms of online data collection make the incorporation of educational data more accessible and analysable for this purpose (e.g. Campbell and Oblinger, 2007).

An academic analytics approach has been used to evaluate the impact of two recently introduced educational policies designed to enhance the student experience at a London based university. These are a revised academic framework, which resulted in the redesign of most courses; and an online submission, marking and feedback policy. Each has had significant implications for the use and uptake of technologies to support learning, teaching and assessment.

The virtual learning environment of the institution has been used to collect longitudinal user data, including through customized page tagging, to enable the impact of the policies to be visualised and assessed. This paper discusses the findings.

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