Walsh College

Big Data

*Guest Blogger Barbara Ciaramitaro, Ph.D. of the Business Information Technology Department

Traditional education has always tracked grades and other student information at low-volume for data collection and analysis. Educational institutions have been slow to adapt technologies because of it.

But “Big Data” in education -- the high amount of unstructured and semi-structured data created that is too costly and time-consuming to analyze and organize -- has emerged with the growth of online and hybrid education.

Course management software used with these emerging educational methods allows the capture of student behavior data as detailed as a minute-by-minute record.  The information capture now allows for high-volume data analysis by schools and colleges.

Most Big Data projects in education intend to monitor student performance to determine where intervention may be needed. They also indentify and develop the most effective instructional techniques for optimal student participation and performance, as well as predictors of success.

But there are challenges.

They include integrating the data collected through online course management software with traditional course delivery and data; privacy and confidentiality of data; and appropriate skills and knowledge in Big Data techniques.

Walsh College offers bachelor’s degree programs in Business Information Systems and Business Information Technology and master’s degree programs in Information Systems and Information Assurance.  In addition, certificate programs are available in Digital Forensics and Chief Information Security Officer. 

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