With the changing times, schools are also changing, and students are back on campus with increased academic expectations and socioeconomic needs. Each student is unique and might handle responsibilities differently.
The main task before every institution is to measure and track each student’s success. What are the major key performance indicators of student success? Institutions must consider more concrete key metrics that throw light on students' interests to track their success, in addition to traditional methods like marks. Here are the seven key metrics for tracking student success:
1. Measuring Non-cognitive Student Skills
Non-cognitive student skills relate to skills like confidence, motivation, resilience, and determination of students in a social setting or academics in general.
When students apply for college, fundamental cognitive factors such as high school percentage, name, age, schooling, and year of education are more commonly considered. Cognitive information is sufficient for first-year college students to be eligible for admission.
However, measuring non-cognitive student skills is more important for understanding students. Non-cognitive student skills ensure that the subjects chosen by students match their overall personality.
How can non-cognitive skills be measured? The best way to measure non-cognitive skills is through an in-person interview or a written exam. For this reason, most institutions have a two-tier application process that requires students to appear for a written exam followed by an in-person interview.
2. Predictive Analysis Scores
Institutions use predictive analysis to study their students. Predictive analysis scores help identify students likely to experience performance issues. These scores also allow institutions to take proactive steps to help such students.
Predictive analysis uses algorithms, historical data, and machine learning techniques to predict students' success and recommend measures for improvement.
3. Track Outside-the-classroom Engagement
Tracking the students' engagement level within and outside the classrooms is another key metric used by higher education institutes. According to a study conducted in 1992, students who participated in extracurricular activities reported fewer skipped classes and unexcused absences and better GPAs than the non-participants. Thus, tracking students' performance outside of the classroom is an essential indicator of their success in schools or colleges.
4. Tracking Classroom Engagement
Tracking classroom engagement is a key metric for measuring student success. According to a study by Mark Reckmeyer, 2019, students with high classroom engagement are 21.99% more likely to have high academic achievement than those with low classroom engagement.
Some of the ways to track classroom engagement include:
- Milestone assignments
- Midterm performance
5. Usage of Campus Resources
Tracking the extent to which students use campus resources is also one of the ways to measure students' success. Students who use these resources frequently are considered to be spending their time wisely. Such students are more likely to make good use of the information that could make a difference in their lives.
Campus resources for students include libraries and other centers for learning, tutoring, student engagement, and financial aid. How can the use of such resources be tracked? There are many ways to track the students who visit and the frequency of visits. Data from swiping ID cards and check-ins on mobile apps and kiosks can be used to track campus resource usage.
6. Random Assessment Surveys on Campus
Simply asking students about their experience on campus is another key metric to measure their success. Colleges and even schools can conduct surveys within the premises at regular intervals. Such surveys may include the below questions:
- Are you satisfied with the choice of your major?
- Are you finding it easy to follow the curriculum?
- Are you undertaking part-time jobs along with studying? If yes, how many hours do you devote to the same?
- Are you finding it challenging to manage your job and studies altogether?
- Are you having trouble managing your finances?
Include questions that throw light on their academics and satisfaction levels. When students enjoy the process of learning, the results are incredible compared to when they do it for the sake of learning. Individual responses to such surveys help institutions provide financial or psychological support to struggling students.
7. Identify Alerts by Faculty
Faculty members and staff become familiar with their students in a short time. They are capable of identifying students who are struggling with daily interactions and communication. Effective communication among staff members will also help identify students who may need support.
All of these interactions create a pattern that can help institutions identify the students who may be struggling financially, physically, or psychologically. When such students are identified, institutions can offer a series of interventions without overwhelming the students.
Staff members and teachers can also develop innovative methods to help struggling students. Measures such as paying more attention, teaching at a slow pace, or other interactions may be helpful.
In addition to measurable metrics like marks, schools and colleges should also follow these seven key metrics to measure their students' success. It can create a significant difference in guiding the students and ensuring smooth transitions for students from school to graduation and jobs.