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American Public University System Extends Online Learning Collaboration With WCET For Predictive Analytics Reporting Framework

American Public University System (APUS) today announced that it will continue its leadership role for expanded research under the Predictive Analytics Reporting Framework (PAR) project, initiated by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). Funded by a new grant and supplemented by ten additional institutions, the consortium will validate and extend the successful, ground-breaking PAR work concluded in early 2012 by six schools exploring effective uses of “big data” predictive analytics to help improve student learning outcomes.

The Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework helps predict risks to student retention and progression in their pursuit of a post-secondary degree or credential. The trends identified through the PAR Framework and shared through reports and risk profiles allow institutions to take steps to remove obstacles to student success and reduce problems with student retention. In his continuing role as principal investigator, APUS Vice President of Research and Development Dr. Phil Ice will oversee technical and analytical strategy for the program, which incorporates many of the best practices and award-winning predictive analytical methods for which he has been recognized by the Sloan Consortium.

The grant funds will enable the creation of a unique, collaboratively created multi-institution dataset containing more than one million anonymized student and five million course records from across 16 WCET member institutions. A dataset of this size will enable the identification of trends at the course, student, institutional and pan-institutional level.

“With 16 participating institutions sharing over one million anonymized student records, we'll be even better able to identify trends contributing to student success, program momentum, and online course completion,” said Dr. Ice. “The cross-section of community college, four-year and online institutions, offering traditional to progressive and competency-based programs, will also help significantly advance our modeling capabilities.”

The WCET member institutions include the six founding PAR Framework partner institutions American Public University System, Colorado Community College System, Rio Salado College, University of Hawaii System, University of Illinois Springfield, and the University of Phoenix as well as ten new institutional partners, each committed to raising the quality bar on student success and online learning excellence. New partners committing to share their student and institutional data, and best practices for student intervention with the project include Ashford University, Broward College, Capella University, Lone Star College System, Penn State World Campus, Sinclair Community College, Troy University, University of Central Florida, University of Maryland University College, and Western Governors University.

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