The digital teaching and learning ecosystem runs on data. As students interact with content, data are produced. These interactions have broad implications for higher education, both for individual students and our broader understanding of teaching and learning. To contain costs and maximize student success, universities need to direct the conversation about data and model the most ethical and secure use of learner-generated information.
If you think of data as currency, Unizin is a bank.
You trust that your money is secure and you can reliably access it as needed. Our credibility as a teaching and learning consortium comes, in part, from the leading research institutions that are our Members, who we can think of as the bank’s Board of Directors. We don’t have profit goals beyond sustainability; we don’t have pedagogical restrictions; we are here to do what’s right for the next generation of your digital teaching and learning environment.
Your currency (data) is priceless. But collecting, managing, and protecting all of your assets is difficult. That’s why the Unizin Consortium was formed. We are developing the best possible solutions for data management challenges by sharing risks, resources, and rewards, taking on myriad technical challenges in order to help universities increase access, affordability, and learner success by leveraging data.
Different forms of currency (data) are collected by your institution from a variety of sources: student information systems, the learning management system, real-time information from data warehouses, etc.
The bank (Unizin) organizes, standardizes, and secures your data to deliver it (identified) back to your institution’s data stores and (de-identified/anonymized) to Unizin’s consortial data pool.
The identified data (which we can think of as your personal funds that only you have access to, such as in a personal transaction at an ATM machine) is wholly owned by the institution, accessible to the university faculty, staff, and students.
The de-identified data lives in the Unizin Consortium "bank" (data store). This collective data acts as a mutual fund of data that can be better invested for digital teaching and learning solutions. This data, which can be used for research and product development, contributes to the creation of the world’s largest learning laboratory.
The Data Bank of the Unizin Consortium
Supporting Student Success
Unizin supports Members using two distinct approaches: 1.) via real-time student performance information for feedback and guidance and 2.) via anonymized data aggregated from across the Consortium for research purposes.
At the individual student level, instructors can drill down to specific concepts to check for understanding. If a student is struggling or missing assignments, early intervention and support can help that learner get back on track. At the section and course levels, comparing student performance can help an instructor determine the effectiveness of content and assessments. Lessons can be learned across departments that can improve student engagement and success, especially in large-enrollment courses where one-on-one instruction is much more logistically difficult.
In addition to supporting students, data is also becoming an increasingly essential part of the accreditation process. Evidence of student development and the continuous improvement of specific programs and efforts can be generated through the process of managing and framing student-generated data.