New technologies allow schools, colleges and universities to analyse absolutely everything that happens. From student behavior, testing results, careers developments of students as well as educational needs based on changing societies.
The overall goal of Big Data within the educational system should be to improve student results. Better students are good for society, organisations as well educational institutions. Currently, the answers to assignments and exams are the only measurements on the performance of students. During his or her student life however, every student generates a unique data trail.
Big data allows for customization at colleges and universities, even if they have 10.000s of students. This will be created with blended learning; a combination of online and offline learning. It will give students the opportunity to develop their own personalized program, following those classes that they are interested in, working at their own pace, while having the possibility for (offline) guidance by professors.
When students start working on their own, in their customized blended learning program, the vast amount of teaching, which most of the time is covered by general topics that have to appeal to all students from different levels, can be done online and by themselves. The professor can monitor all students in real-time and start a much more interesting and deeper conversation on the topic of choice.
All these analyses will improve the student results and perhaps also reduce dropout rates at universities or colleges. Dropouts are expensive for educational institutes as well as for society. When students are closely monitored, receive instant feedback and are coached based on their personal needs, it can help to reduce dropout rates.