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Civitas Launches New Community To Improve Learning Analytics

Civitas Learning has launched a new learning community designed to improve "key academic outcomes in higher education," according to information released by the company.

As part of the new project, the company is working with institutions such as Austin Community College and the University of Maryland University College to gather and combine diverse student demographic, behavioral, and academic information with analysis and recommendations technologies. The Civitas Learning approach is designed to use “sophisticated data modeling” to turn this institutional information into recommendations to support the student through the educational process.

Civitas Learning Community members can expect to receive a real-time view of which students are at risk of dropping out, including an explanation why, identification of specific course and degree paths that might be contributing to student attrition, and an understanding of the most successful resources and interventions for each student.

The data research and suggestions are designed to give faculty the resources to address specific issues for at-risk students including offering examples of “outreach and intervention resources that have historically driven engagement for students like theirs,” the company said.

Austin Community College already has numerous campus projects aimed at reducing attrition, but Kathleen Christensen, vice president of student support and success systems, said in a news release that the school feels that the Civitas Learning approach “can give us insight into the effectiveness of these initiatives, as well as the ability to help faculty and staff apply resources and support more effectively to improve these outcomes.”

The Civitas Learning approach is also designed to help students with information that will keep them on track to graduate by providing personalized recommendations on degree and course selection, delivering alerts about course combinations that “have proven challenging in the past,” advising on how to optimally sequence courses, and offering proactive recommendations “on how to spend time during their courses and which resources to use, based on other students' results,” Civitas Learning said.

The new initiative is funded in part by $4.1 million in funding it raised from Austin Ventures, First Round Capital, and Floodgate.

More information is available at civitaslearning.com.

About the Author

Jim Barthold is a freelance technology reporter. He can be reached at jimbarthold@comcast.net.

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