Delegation from the Netherlands learns from Greenwich experience


Representatives of European universities keen to find out more about use of data to better support students

The University of Greenwich hosted a group of academics from the Netherlands earlier this week, who came to find out about a new approach to managing data which can provide a better experience for students.

Twenty-five academics and professional services staff from universities across Holland visited the university on Monday as part of a study tour of universities around the UK.

They came to the University of Greenwich to find out about Learning Analytics; an approach which combines data about student engagement and learning to better understand and improve the learning experiences of students.

Professor David Maguire, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Greenwich, said: "I was delighted to welcome so many international colleagues to our university to find out more about our work.

"Learning Analytics is about helping our students achieve their learning goals and reach their full academic potential. For the first time, it enables us to have all relevant information about students and their work in one place, giving us the ability to have conversations with our students that are driven by data on both sides.

"We're happy to share what we've learnt implementing this scheme and I'm delighted that other universities think that they can benefit from our experiences."

Other adopters of the Learning Analytics approach have seen an improvement in student results and lower drop-out rates over time.

Professor Maguire added: "There are benefits for students, who get more personalised feedback, and academics, who can monitor the impact of their teaching."

As well as meeting the Vice Chancellor, the delegates also heard the students' viewpoint from John Schless, the Chief Executive of Greenwich Students' Union, as well as receiving presentations from the University's Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Professor Karen Bryan and the Director of Strategic Planning, Christine Couper.

An academic's view of Learning Analytics was given by Colin Allen, Director of Student Experience in the university's Faculty of Business.

Speaking on behalf of the group Stan Aalderink said: "Bearing in mind the importance of setting clear goals for the effective use of learning analytics, it was really inspiring to see that the University of Greenwich, while setting those goals, puts student success in the centre, not study success. Moreover, the approach of the University of Greenwich was a really valuable illustration of how to develop an effective governance structure on learning analytics to get also the teachers on board."

Learning analytics was launched in Greenwich in Autumn 2018.