Raquel Vallecillo, Florida International University
In the advent of recent, new technologies shaping the world, and soon education, through artificial intelligence chatbots and augmented and immersive reality, it’s important to consider how the advising community can best use technology to leverage student resources and implement strategies that meet institutional goals or metrics. The COVID-19 pandemic encouraged institutions to modify their use of technology and provide needed support to students (Charlton, 2022)—adapting to a hybrid advising model, creating more fully online programs and additional online course offerings, and redefining the registration process for first-time, undergraduate students. A consequential insight from this event is that the academic advising community has proven to be adaptable and is always looking for ways to improve practices.
Although there have been concerns from technology researchers and academics about the negative impacts of technology on human connection, privacy, fact-based information, and concentration of wealth, there are much more opportunities that are afforded and expected in the next ten years. One of the predictions made by the Pew Research Center is that “new digital tools and human and technological systems will be designed to assure that factual information will be appropriately verified, highly findable, well-updated and archived” (Anderson & Raine, 2023). These expected changes can impact the work that the advising community does and how to approach student data. Many institutions are already using technology systems and compiling data to create individualized support systems to increase student success and support institutional goals.
There is Some Leading Work in Institutions
The institutions below demonstrate how selecting appropriate technology systems is key. Furthermore, the manner in which student information is utilized to make decisions in collaboration with stakeholders is also of significance.
The Benefits of Collecting Data Can Outweigh the Costs
The benefits of utilizing data-gathering tools and engaging with those findings are significant for the advising community. The list below highlights those gains.
Looking Forward to the Future and Creating a Culture of Data
Many institutions have provided data access to student support systems: faculty, advisors, career coaches, success coaches, mentors, and other integral divisions in the university. These stakeholders have provided immediate support to students while connecting and sharing information with one another. It’s important to keep in mind that student success is a shared responsibility and that “we cannot provide high-quality academic advising experiences for students without clear, detailed, and focused data on which to base the academic advising process” (Nutt, 2017). Data analytics is at the forefront of the decisions that are being made in higher education institutions. Data-driven decisions can benefit advising services and contribute to the humane approach that centers advising sessions and communication with students. Possibly, this shift can drastically alter the individualized support students can receive and will allow for more meaningful interactions between the advisor and advisee during sessions. Most importantly, this work highlights the collaboration of stakeholders and support systems within institutions and the shared responsibility for student success.
Anderson, J., & Raine, L. (2023, June 21). As AI spreads, experts predict the best and worst changes in digital life by 2035. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2023/06/21/as-ai-spreads-experts-predict-the-best-and-worst-changes-in-digital-life-by-2035/
Calhoun-Brown, A. (2023, January 9). How data and technology can improve advising and equity. The Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.chronicle.com/article/how-data-and-technology-can-improve-advising-and-equity
Charlton, J. (2022, December 29). It’s time to disrupt your approach to advising. The Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.chronicle.com/article/its-time-to-disrupt-your-approach-to-advising
Mowreader, A. (2023a). Success dashboard creates culture shift on campus. Inside Higher Ed. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/student-success/academic-life/2023/04/26/student-facing-dashboard-provides-clarity-advisers
Mowreader, A. (2023b). Best practices in data integration for student success. Inside Higher Ed. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/student-success/academic-life/2023/05/09/dos-and-donts-using-data-student-success
Mowreader, A. (2023c). Enrollment data in advising promotes student success. Inside Higher Ed. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/student-success/academic-life/2023/06/02/enrollment-data-advising-promotes-student-success
Nutt, C. (2017, March). Creating a data-driven advising culture: Overcoming three central roadblocks. Academic Advising Today, 40(1). https://nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/From-the-Executive-Director-Creating-a-Data-Driven-Advising-Culture-Overcoming-Three-Central-Roadblocks.aspx