While the motion picture “Minority Report” depicted a world where crimes could be predicted before they happen, a new IT system promises to identify, and notify within a week, students that are likely to fail a course.
As reported by The Telegraph, the new £14 million technology issues an alert on students who are falling behind and may need more support. As of yet, the system at London South Bank is the first of its kind to be deployed at a university in the UK.
IBM will build an online portal, which students can use to contact each other as well as their tutors. The portal will also enable and access the Internet, email, social networks and library resources.
IBM’s system is called Exceptional Student Experience and will also enable mobile access to applications, social communities for knowledge sharing, online profiling and dynamic learning environments. IBM intends to make its solution the lynchpin to a student-centric university environment, and bases this idea on four main pillars:
- Recruitment with digital marketing
- Access via personalized portal
- Pedagogy with social collaboration
- Retention with predictive analytics
Students’ university ID cards will be linked to the new technology, enabling the system to detect when they have not logged on, and use predictive analytics to gauge if a student may be falling behind. The system could also highlight problems on a near-immediate basis by flagging students that have missed lectures or are behind with assignment deadlines.
Professor Phil Cardew, South Bank’s pro vice chancellor, says the system will act as a “virtual campus,” enabling tutors to give students an extra reminder if they are not performing well in the classroom. Cardew insists that the system is not meant to monitor students or their email accounts, but rather it is about their activity.
The portal will support virtual tutor groups and students will be able to contact tutors beyond normal hours.
In addition to the initiative in London, IBM’s solution has been implemented in a number of universities across the US. For more information on the Exceptional Student Experience, visit IBM’s website.