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The Study Hall

How AWS is Helping Institutions Use Data to Drive Student Outcomes

We have never had access to more information about our students - how they learn, when they learn, and what they learn. Yet in order to drive better outcomes, educators must be able to gain timely, meaningful insights from their data. At Amazon Web Services (AWS), we work with education companies and institutions around the globe who are finding new and innovative ways to use data to catalyze innovation, evaluate how to better serve students, and transform their organizations. 

The pandemic unleashed a renewed urgency to answer old questions like “how to measure whether interventions actually work?” and uncovered new ones like “how do we measure COVID-related interrupted learning?” Below are three ways our customers are using data to enhance student learning and improve well-being. 

1. Improving early detection of at-risk students. In the past, schools were only able to identify at-risk students after it was too late. Periodic benchmark assessments measure a student’s learning at a single point in time and only evaluate one dimension of a student’s education. Now, schools are utilizing real-time information from multiple aspects of a student’s academic life to identify those in need of more support earlier and with more accuracy. Both Higher Education and K-12 schools and districts are using data to build “Early Warning Systems” to identify students who may veer off-track so that interventions can take place immediately. By comparing different types of data, institutions are better able to facilitate and improve student success. 

2. Enhancing learning through personalization. Providing students with learning experiences at the right level, at the right time, and in the right way is the goal of all instruction. However, achieving those insights often requires multiple data sources and a level of analysis that is too time intensive for a single instructor. With Machine Learning (ML), institutions and instructors are able to analyze data from multiple sources to gain deeper insights into how and what students learn, what they know, and turn those insights into personalized learning journeys based on each student’s needs and preferences. 

3. Accelerating digital transformation. Over the past year and a half, schools have had to react to the changing conditions for teaching and learning. From moving to fully remote classrooms to utilizing cloud-based EdTech products, schools needed a way to identify how they could best help students in a new environment. Schools are using data to help spur this digital transformation in a complex environment where they have to meet the needs of a student body and teacher workforce that now expect flexible learning options but includes students who have insufficient access to broadband and other technology. Institutions are relying on data to help them make informed decisions on how to drive modernization that best meets the needs of students. 

As our customers have demonstrated, education is innovating at a pace unseen in previous decades. To realize transformations that produce lasting change, we need to make data more accessible and come up with solutions that deliver better insights. 

To learn more about how organizations are using data to improve student success, tune into Mike Hofherr’s session at InstructureCon 2021 on Turning Data into Wisdom: How Institutions are Using Data to Drive Outcomes for Students. This session airs on October 7th between 3:00pm – 5:00pm Mountain Time and will be available on demand. 

Also, visit AWS’s Cloud Computing for Education website to learn more.