Massey University

How is data better identifying learners in need of support at Massey University?


Transcript: Massey University

Opening sequence (background music): title of the strategy, Connected Ako: Digital and Data for Learning, appears with graphical images of a puna (spring). Transition to moving icons of punas that represent the 6 areas of mahi in the strategy.  

Question appears on the screen: How can data identify learners in need of support? 

Transition to footage of the story. Interview style format mixed with background images of students and educational environments. 

- [Sabrina, Student, Massey University]  So as a kid I liked sitting on a plane. So I actually wanted to become an air hostess when I was a kid. Eventually, as I grew up I realised there's more to it. It's not just being an air hostess or being a pilot. There's lots of work that goes behind it. 

- [Bryan, Student, Massey University] I was working in the same industry for many years and I spent a lot of time thinking about a way to utilise my strengths but change my career course as well as do something that really suited what I knew I was good at. 

- So at Massey University we've got around 25,000 students. About 55% of them are distance students, 60% are part-time and 65% are female and 83% of them are not school leavers, which makes us quite unique in the tertiary environment in New Zealand. 

- [Sabrina] I think I saw ad on Massey's website so there's a degree called Aviation Management and I thought this is exactly what I'm looking for. 

- [Bryan] Just the process of enrolling was the first hurdle I hit, but I quickly realised that the learning curve to go from not studying to full-time studying was massive. 

- [James Collings, Manager – Data Enabled Student Support, Massey University] So at Massey we collect data on students when they enrol. We've got a student management system. When we engage with them we've got a system where we record that information and all of these are separate places where we house data. So we brought all of the data together and fed them into a data warehouse. 

- [Sabrina] I did start my study on campus, for a semester or two and then when the COVID hit I went back home and took the classes online. It wasn't for me. 

- [Bryan] In the second week, I hit a brick wall and I was confused as to whether I could continue with the course. 

- [James] So we use lots of information about what the student is studying, some demographic information such as their age and their mode study. We also look at things like if they've had any prior tertiary or polytechnic qualifications or study. So the dashboard is made available to my team and what we can do from the dashboard is we can look in a bulk view and put in a set of parameters to filter and look for students who might have exhibited a certain behaviour such as not logging in or not submitting the first assessment and then we can create a program of outreach around those students to support them. 

- [Sabrina] When I was like dropping assignments and stuff I didn't realise that it's actually affecting me. I needed help with a lot of stuff but I didn't know where to turn. 

- [James] So depending on the intervention, we usually flag lots of students and we'll start off with a the likes of an email and a text campaign and reach out and give the students the information we know they need and then from there we'll follow up again. We then reach out to and provide them the support. 

- [Bryan] The contact from the coach, was quite out of the blue, but I'm very thankful for it. My coach's help has actually meant the world since I started. He got me through the first few weeks, which definitely had its difficulties. 

- [Sabrina] I got a call from someone, from student service coach, and she asked me if I would like some help. I was like, yeah, definitely. 

- [James] We actually reach out to the students proactively when we see something going wrong during the semester but while there's enough time for change to happen and for them to get back on track. 

For us, we look at success for our interactions with students as supporting them to become independent learners and to go on and pass their courses and ultimately pass their qualifications. 

- [Sabrina] I knew that now that I have all the support I need, I don't have any excuse so I just have to get the work done. 

- [Bryan] The support I've been given since I started Massey has been integral to my continuing the course. If I hadn't have had that support I may have actually dropped papers or quit. 

- [James] I really love my job. It's so exciting to know that the work that we're doing is making a difference. The technology is only in its infancy and we are continuing to grow and we've got some really exciting plans for the future. We've got many more data points we'd like to add. We've also got really exciting AI-based initiatives that we're looking at. 

- [Bryan] I hope to get my degree, so I just really want to focus on getting through the study as best I can and maybe the odd A here and there as well. 

- [Sabrina] When I graduate, I would like to work for the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand. With all the support, I'm much more confident now. I know I'm on the right track so as long as I keep going like this, I should be fine. 

Closing sequence (background music) with graphical image of the puna.  

Onscreen title appears: Connected Ako: living, learning and working in the digital world.   

Final screen shows logos of the education agencies. Top line showing agencies leading this work which will develop workplans based on the strategy: Ministry of Education (MoE), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Bottom line showing the broader education agencies who have contributed to the strategy and will use it to inform and guide their own plans and decisions: Education New Zealand (ENZ), Education Payroll Limited, Education Review Office (ERO), Network for Learning (N4L), Teaching Council, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) and Research Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ) 


Next story

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback