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Mining Big Data in Education: Affordances and Challenges

By Clairvoyant Perspectives - November 17, 2021

Big data is being used in almost every industry. It has changed how the world looks at information. Modern education, like many other industries, runs on data. According to a study, 2.5 quintillion data is being produced every day on average. A large part of this data belongs to active internet users, and a large portion of these users are college and school students. As they look for information online to work, they leave their digital footprints. This becomes a part of the big data that is being collected every day.


Importance and role of Big Data in Education Sector

The amount of data being generated is increasing with time. However, experts have predicted that the amount of data being generated is going to reach 175 zettabytes by the end of 2025. But the education industry is better placed than the other industries when it comes to taking advantage of big data.

Big data in education sector can be used to gather, store, and analyze data to get valuable insights into their day-to-day operations. The technology of big data in education industry holds impressive potential for the future of learning and teaching. Big data supports the introduction of new educational models, such as customized curricula and digital learning. It can change education across the learning sphere, from elementary school to colleges and universities.

But understanding the new trends in education and big data trends is of great importance for educators. With big data, educators can discover the student’s problematic areas, instead of depending on the standard tests for revealing the issues. Application of big data in education helps in assessing students accurately.

Big data in education helps students to learn on an improved level, but it also works to improve the educational models.


Benefits of Big Data in Education

Just as companies have to deal with data associated with their finances, employees, and customers, educational institutions also have to handle student data. Every year, thousands of students enroll in the institution in different courses. Naturally, there is an influx of data.

So, big data in education sector proves to be of great help. Educators, stakeholders, and decision-makers are leveraging data analytics to help with the smoother functioning of the educational institution.

But the benefits of big data in education depend on how you are using it. Be that as it may, here are a few affordances of big data.


Improves the Grading System

With so many students enrolling every year, it can be difficult to track their results and help them improve their performance. However, it is possible if educational institutions use big data. Not only does it store data in one place but also helps in analyzing them to track student performance. With big data analytics, educators can identify a student’s area of interest. Thus, they can guide them better. The grading system can help in highlighting the areas where the students are excelling.

So, when required, teachers will be able to give worthy and valuable feedback to their students. All in all, it promotes a better learning solution.


Facilitates Data-Driven Decision Making

Like we already explained, big data can help in assessing students’ performance better. Based on this data, educators can chalk out a personalized educational plan.

As big data draws in data from various sources, it leads to a strong educational plan. The technology gathers additional data that wasn’t possible when data was collected manually. So, it can further improve teaching methods depending on specific patterns and behaviors. Students can be put under separate groups based on their difficulties and learning patterns.

Big data helps in reaching out to students as per their learning abilities. Hence, they tend to perform better academically.


Improves Student Results

The grades and results tell you about a student’s performance. Students are graded in their projects, exams, and assignments. The student data leaves a unique data trail throughout the course of their academic career.

Checking on these data trails enables educators to gauge their students better. It helps them understand the strengths and weaknesses of the students.

With big data, educators can analyze their following actions.

  • Questions they are skipping

  • Response time to the given questions

  • Questioning they are answering

Big data analytics improves the feedback of educators. Thus, students can perform better.


Enhanced Educational Assessment

Big data helps teachers, professors, and educational authorities evaluate their own performance. With big data analytics, it is possible to get unbiased feedback on the design and structure of the course. It tells them about the efficiency of their teaching methods. As they receive the feedback; they can improve their teaching techniques and reach out to students better.

Moreover, the technology helps educators analyze if a certain course is difficult for certain students. By associating the course with the capability and the strength of the student, educators can decide the failure risk of students. They can create personalized programs to help a student obtain the required knowledge.


Challenges of Big Data in Education

Big data is an evolving technology. So, it comes with some challenges, too. Let’s check them out.


Ensuring Data Flow

Big data analytics requires a constant flow of data. Poorly integrated data systems and poor internet connectivity might prove to be a hindrance when it comes to a constant data flow. Also, using poorly formatted data might lead to improper outcomes.


Maintaining Privacy

Many are concerned about the privacy of data that is being collected, not just about every student but also their families. Surely, data is vulnerable and there is a risk of it being hacked or compromised. There is a fear that the management and IT will not be able to protect this data. No monetary can replace personal details that can be used for doing wrong to the students.


Storage and Scalability

The rate at which data is being collected and used goes beyond Big Data’s processing abilities. Often the system can slow down or crash. Even though it is a temporary problem, it can affect the quality of the outcomes and the analysis on a whole. So, educational institutions need to come up with a plan for better scalability. Also, data has to be stored in a safe space to be used in the future.


Training and Educating the Educators

One challenge of big data application in the education sector is educating and training the educators. It is important that all educators and teachers cooperate. Without proper training, it can be difficult to handle and use big data analytics.


Data Errors

No doubt, big data deals with a large amount of data. Every institution has thousands of students. But maintaining multiple datasets of the students across various categories might lead to mistakes or errors. Correcting these mistakes can be expensive. Once tampered with might require the institute to replace it with a new set of data.

Clairvoyant Helps Your Education Institution to Navigate through Big Data

With Clairvoyant, you can get insight at every touchpoint. It helps you unlock the real potential of data. Driven by data, it can come up with solutions that will help in actualizing student and educator data and accelerate the growth of the educational institution. You can keep up with the increasing amount of data in a cost-efficient and secure manner.

Clairvoyant Perspectives

Tags: Artificial Intelligence

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