Fidelity of Use, Part 3; Predicting Student Achievement Through Technology Usage Patterns

July 22, 2019

Applications, digital textbooks, and online resources have made it possible to gauge student interaction with educational content like never before. With all the data being collected, there’s no reason why districts shouldn’t be able to use this information to identify opportunities where educators and scholars can be better supported.

To better leverage tools to facilitate academic achievement, it’s critical to establish Fidelity of Use—a concept Enboard Director of Development David Carter defines as capitalizing on the information afforded by data analytics to uncover the relationship between usage and outcomes. As discussed in the first installment of this series, the initial step in actualizing Fidelity of Use is understanding how your staff and scholars utilize the resources available to them. Determining resource adoption rates can be useful in gauging if users need more training on how to implement specific applications in the classroom. Though a great place to start, tracking engagement alone doesn’t accurately reflect the value of digital tools, as there may not be a correlation between time spent using an application and performance in the related subject.

For a more reliable evaluation of technology value, it’s necessary to connect utilization data rates to student outcomes using advanced logging, analytics, and intelligence tools like those available in the Enboard identity & access management (IAM) platform. By marrying measures of utilization and engagement to performance indicators, district leaders can scrutinize whether the instruction time and district budget being invested in specific tools are yielding the expected results. Measuring EdTech impact isn’t necessarily limited to just test scores; with connections to the right data sets, assessing far-reaching implications such as graduation rates and job placement also becomes a possibility. While this second layer of Fidelity of Use provides answers many questions about the value of the day-to-day tools districts use, it also gives rise to more questions about how we can further help scholars. 

This is where the third layer of Fidelity of Use comes in. In the not-so-distant future, the acumen provided by surfacing the relationship between resource utilization and tangible outcomes will be used to reveal patterns of student behavior that predict their performance. This information, or emergent data, can then be used to identify early warning signs that a student may be struggling and inform intervention policies to ensure these at-risk individuals are receiving the support they need to correct their course. 

It’s not too early to begin preparing your district for the actionable insights this emergent data will provide. As achievement tracking platforms make themselves available for integration, it’s critical that your district is aggregating the right measures of resource engagement and utilization. Enboard’s IAM suite captures all the data points needed to understand how resource usage is influencing outcomes (location, time & date, device type, browser, and more), and with the addition of our upcoming Usage Analytics dashboard, presents them in a way that’s easy to understand. Enboard anticipates collaboration with learning management systems will multiply the value of understanding resource utilization, and as such, we’ve baked in the flexibility to work with your platforms of choice to make predicting student success a reality.