Analytics for Academics: Producing Actionable Information about Students and Learning to Improve Effectiveness

October 27, 2017 
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Mills College, Oakland, CA

Click here for a draft of the program schedule. 


The pressure on institutions to do well on scorecards and rankings can distract us from the primary mission of teaching and learning and fostering success for all students. This practical workshop uses the combined energies of institutional research (IR) and learning assessment to engage faculty, staff, and administrators in productive, data-based conversations about students and student learning. The facilitators will provide participants with tools, strategies, and resources to effectively use data analytics with different types of information about students and learning such as student characteristics, survey results, grades, retention rates, and learning assessment results—particularly the “big five” core competency results. The facilitators will introduce analytics, learning theory, and data visualization through brief lectures and use case studies to illustrate how purposeful integration of these three elements can lead to institutional improvement and higher student achievement. Workshop exercises will aid participants in supporting or leading their own institutional efforts to “close the loop” and intentionally use analytics for action. Activities emphasize group discussion and problem-solving, along with tailoring approaches and tools to each participant’s institutional type and culture.

Workshop Intentions
In this workshop, participants will:

  • Develop an introductory understanding of the role analytics can play in higher education decision making, including its benefits and potentialities as well as the challenges and risks of analytics that involve information about students and learning
  • Expand their ability to integrate analytics with assessment results to inform and promote academic quality and high student achievement
  • Learn how visualization tools (e.g., Microsoft Power BI visuals) can make data results more accessible to faculty and non-IR audiences
  • Discuss the connection between analytics, institutional research, assessment, learning theory, and data visualization
  • Explore several strategies for engaging faculty and other stakeholders in implementing analytics to better facilitate and guide planning initiatives
  • Develop a community of colleagues with whom to share ideas, resources, and good practices

Intended Audience

This workshop is intended for participants who have a basic knowledge of learning assessment, institutional research, and educational effectiveness initiatives at their institution. ALOs, academic affairs staff, assessment professionals, faculty, and IR staff will get the most out of this workshop. To maximize the value to their institution, we recommend bringing a cross-institutional team that includes faculty leader(s), though individual participants will be fully engaged in group activities, as well.

Workshop Facilitators

Monica Stitt-Bergh, Associate Specialist, Assessment Office, University of Hawai‘i – Mānoa

John Stanley, Director of Institutional Research, University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu

Hotel Reservations: We encourage participants to make their hotel reservations as soon as possible. Given the Analytics for Academics workshop is being held on a campus, WSCUC has not contracted nor secured a group rate with any particular hotel. There are many websites online that help with finding reasonably priced hotels.

Registration: Registration fee includes lunch. Beverages and snacks will be available during breaks. Attendees will be on their own for all other meals.

Registration fees:  $300/per team member.  After the registration deadline, if space is available, the late registration fee will be $360 /per team member.

Discount for Combined Registration:  Assessment 101: Meaningful Assessment for Student Learning workshop will be offered on October 26, 2017 at Mills College. The special rate for a combined registration for Assessment 101 and Analytics for Academics is $525 until 10/12/2017. After the registration deadline, if space is available, the late registration fee will be $645 /per team member.



This educational program has been developed by national and regional experts and is offered as a service to WSCUC member institutions and others who wish to learn about good practices applicable to all institutions. It is entirely optional, and our hope is that member institutions will find it helpful. WSCUC staff will be present to answer questions related specifically to accreditation expectations.

Event Details

Date: October 27, 2017 - 8:30am to October 27, 2017 - 4:30pm

Fee: Free