Developing a Mobile App to Track Student Engagement in High-Impact Practices

Presenters

  • Amir Dabirian, VP for IT-CIO, CSU Fullerton
  • Matthew Badal, Administrative Analyst, CSU Fullerton
  • Su Swarat, Director of Assessment and Educational Effectiveness, CSU Fullerton

What are HIPs?

  • Occur when students are actively engaged in the learning process
  • Students involved in HIPs report greater gains in learning in personal dev
  • Underrepresented students affected positively the most

Common HIPs

  • First year seminars
  • Common intellectual experiences
  • Learning communities
  • Writing intensive courses
  • Internships
  • Etc.

CSUF Strategic Plan

Presidential goal is to increase student persistence, increase grad rates, and narrow the achievement gap for underrepresented students.

  • Get 75% of all students involved in at least TWO HIPs.
  • Broaden access to HIPs
  • Curricular (course based) and co-curricular (activity) based programs

CSUF Definition

  • Transformational
  • Significant student engagement
  • Experiential learning
  • Etc. (the list is long)

Institutionalize HIPs through a Data-Driven Approach

  • We don’t want to call something HIP unless it actually IS a HIP
  • We triangulate each course/program through a set of criteria to ensure HIP quality
  • Over 4,000 students now in designated HIPs

HIPs Technology Tracking

  • Technology, Tools, Data Collection
  • LMS has HIPs Templates
  • Peoplesoft Tracking & Designation (transcript)

We started it all through a survey, and as a result of this, we decided to accomplish this via a mobile app, but .

We harness the power of our existing app…why? Because it has a killer app built in that students go back to again and again – PARKING.

Data Collection Technology Tools Attendance

  • iBeacon deployed in all classrooms
  • All our HIPs use this feature to ensure participation

How Does the App Work?

  • Shake phone to register attendance
  • For each course, we provide HIP activity items for students to record their participation in each.
  • Real-time integration to LMS; the LMS provides the ability for professors to drill-down and view student attendance and participation.
  • It’s still a work in progress. Faculty orientations are continuous, and we also help students learn how to use the app. App changes: addition of activity tracking for more customization; multiple hour tracking feature

Humans Make the App Work

Sample timeline in a semester:

  • Pre-semester: app improvement, faculty training
  • Weeks 1-2: in-class student training
  • Weeks 8-10: mid-semester check-in, ongoing tech support, initial data collection
  • Weeks 14-16: post survey administration, heavy data collection, final tech support

Data Analysis & Assessment

There were a lot of graphs in this portion of the session, so my notes are a bit thin here.

  • Most of the gains were attributable to our female students
  • Self reported learning gains were almost universal
  • The more feedback received, the more improvement seen
  • Data identified colleges where student involvement was higher or lower than expected; this has affected pedagogical practices