Using Big Data to Improve the Educational Infrastructure and Learning Paradigm

Using Big Data to Improve the Educational Infrastructure and Learning Paradigm

Areej Fatemah Meghji (Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan) and Naeem A. Mahoto (Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0182-4.ch011
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In higher education, the demand for improved information in relation to educational and learning outcomes is greater than ever before. Leveraging technology, new models of education have emerged that are not only improving modes of lecture delivery and information retention, but also generating huge amounts of data. This data is potentially a gold mine that needs to be explored to uncover patterns associated with student behavior and how information is processed, retained and used by the students. This chapter proposes a generic model that uses the techniques of educational data mining to explore and analyze Big Data being generated by the education sector. This chapter also examines the various questions that can be answered using educational data mining methods and how the discovered patterns can be used to enrich the learning experience of a student as well as help teachers make pedagogical decisions.
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Education shapes nations; for many years the traditional method of educating students has been by providing them instructions. These instructions have been delivered to a vast number of students in a classroom. The focus of the education system has always been on the teacher; who has almost always used lecture delivery as the focal method of conveying these instructions (Mazur, 2009; Romero, & Ventura, 2007). The teachers or instructors would keep themselves updated in their disciplines through seminars, workshops, trainings and other professional and academic development programs.

Learning has always been the sole responsibility or the burden of the student, and its measurement has not been given a high priority. This has been the archaic model of transferring information from the teacher to the student since centuries and in many parts of the world this traditional mode of education has changed very little over the course of time. In its true spirit this mode of learning may be referred to as teacher centric.

The authors John Tagg and Robert Barr in their article, “From Teaching to Learning: A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education.”, emphasize that the archaic model of education has imprisoned our faculty and scholars. The faculty follows the guidelines of the system instead of having the freedom to create a system that promotes learning. Grading systems perfectly disregard the academic potential of individual students (Barr & Tagg, 1995). The courses are designed keeping an average student in mind without efforts been taken to enhance the abilities of the below average students or help the outstanding students reach their full potential. Educational institutes today focus more on picking talent instead of devising mechanisms to develop talent.

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