Monday, May 23, 2011

UIS part of ground-breaking study aimed at improving online learning

The University of Illinois Springfield will participate in the Predictive Analytics Reporting Framework (PAR) project to help improve learning outcomes for online students directed by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). The recently announced PAR Framework project will operate based on receiving a $1,000,000 grant of which UIS will receive $50,000 for its participation. The research will be conducted this summer and fall.

The project involves bringing together data from six WCET member institutions into a single, unified data set so that all of the student records from all institutions can be analyzed simultaneously. The research seeks to identify common patterns that predict points of loss and momentum. The goal of the project is to promote success for online students by improving student progression, retention and completion. Additional information is available at the project website

“This is a wonderful opportunity for UIS to extend our ground-breaking research in online learning,” said Ray Schroeder, director of the UIS Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service. “We are most excited to participate with WCET and the other partner institutions in building new knowledge in this area. We believe this will enable UIS and other universities to better serve 21st century students at a distance.”

The grant for the Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework will utilize student-level data from more than 400,000 student records at UIS, the American Public University System, Colorado Community College System, Rio Salado College, University of Hawaii System, and the University of Phoenix.

Each participating institution has been exploring or implementing descriptive, inferential or predictive analytics projects on their own student data; the PAR Framework expands on this work through exploration of patterns that can be derived when the six institutional datasets are considered as a single, unified sample. Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership Karen Swan and Dean Emeritus of Arts and Sciences Bill Bloemer will lead the project research at UIS.

For more information on UIS’ involvement in the project, please visit contact Ray Schroeder at 217/206-7531 or email


Janet said...

Congratulations to UIS--you've all earned this opportunity!

Karen said...

Awesome! UIS is so far ahead of many schools on this front and a great example of what online learning can be.