Revolutionary change in information technology has brought progressive change in higher education. This revolutionary change can be seen in the roles big data have being playing in learning ways at the higher education level. Through technological innovations, information gathering, learning styles, retention rate and recruitment of students has changed progressively.
Big Data and Higher Education
Technological development and education are working hand in hand. Changes in the learning styles at the higher education level evidently indicate that and technological advancement and higher education are inseparable. Due to technological development, students can easily access information from catalogs and databases for learning purposes. Not only does big data influences student life, big data have also significantly gone a long way to help teaching and non-teaching staff to make relevant decisions.
The relevance of big data at higher education level cannot be overemphasized. Progressive changes in students’ learning and experience on campus emphasize the importance of big data. In fact, big data have exponentially helped in improving the quality of higher education. The use of big data in higher education is a new phenomenon. It involves the changing style of research through technological innovations.
Essentially, academic researches; recommendations and formulation of policies; technological innovations; service and product marketing are incomplete without the roles of data. Information acquired from big data influences decision-making. From the higher education sector to the health sector and governmental sector, big data are reliable source for information gathering.
What is Big Data?
Simply put, big data refers to huge information stored for studying, evaluation, and analysis purpose. Big data are essential bulk information stored and accessible at any given time for the purpose of information gathering. They are basically records of relevant information stored in a database or storage. There are different kinds of information stored in a database. Big data are stored because they offer answers to questions that cannot be answered abstractly.
Importantly, information kept in various databases is accessible to students and academic staffs at any given time. Nevertheless, not all information kept in a database are accessible to students and private individuals.
Data are raw information left unused and analyzed. Information stored in a database is useless until the information is studied and represent information that needed careful analysis and interpretation. Through information stored in big data, the world’s most difficult problems have received solutions. Not only that, information acquired from big data have helped various national governments in formulating and implementing governmental policies.
Sporadic changes in today’s higher education points to the importance of information gathering. Thus, information cannot be gathered without big data serving as the reservoir of information.
Importance of Big Data in Higher Education
Big data have revolutionized the education sector in so many ways:
Improvement of the quality of education
Access to important information defines the quality of education. In the same way, access to relevant information influences students’ choices of higher education. In fact, the availability and access to big data defines the quality of a higher institution. Prospective students can access information stored in higher education program catalogs to determine the best program and modules that best suit their interest.
As globalization of education increases exponentially, big data can help in promoting online programs and courses. In this modern era, many universities and colleges are exploiting this technological tool to promote their academic programs. This technological development helps colleges and universities to expand their teaching horizon. Improving the quality of education through big data makes higher education accessible irrespective of geographical boundaries.
Reduction of the Risk of Dropout
In improving the quality of education, big data helps teaching and non-teaching staffs identify issues that are likely to negatively affect students. Through big data, college professors can track student performances, and what are the challenges of students on campus. Therefore, students’ success rate can massively increase by identifying risks at earlier stage through big data.
Improvement of decision-making and resource management
Big data are essential technological tools that help in dealing with higher education decision-making and management of resources. Big data can go the long way to resolve activities at higher education affecting resource management and allocation, administration and research. Through surveys, universities and colleges can early identify issues that are likely decision making to affect their growth. Information can be acquired from surveys, emails and feedbacks. Data collected is further transformed into decision-making to make changes. This however makes higher education more sensitive to data.
In conclusion, big data undoubtedly are very essential tool in the higher education. The technological tool helps both students, teaching and non teaching staffs to do analytic evaluation in making decision. Therefore, the importance of big data in the higher education cannot be ruled out from contemporary innovative technological development. Big data have successfully helped in improving teaching and learning experiences at higher education level.