Open menu
ThinkPad Yoga 4

Predictive Analytics Going Too Far?

by Caroline Simon

Business Insider

Article excerpt

Colleges can now figure out which students will be successful — even before classes start

By the end of some students’ first two weeks in a college course, an analytical model can determine with 75% accuracy rate how well they’ll end up doing. But should it?

Our take

The Problems and Potential of Predictive Analytics

Data is being increasingly used in higher ed to predict which students will succeed and which won’t. As one provost says in this article: “We know the day before the course starts which students are highly unlikely to succeed.” Predictive analytics holds promise to help predict a variety of outcomes in education, including the chances of individual student success. But are there ethical implications and unintended consequences that should be considered before going down this route?

There certainly are, but there are ways to address them, primarily through transparency. As this article points out, data collection should be a joint venture with everyone involved aware of what’s being collected and how it will be used. The factors surrounding big data’s role in education require thoughtful consideration and ultimately, big decisions.