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Episode 14 - Teach & Learn

The Importance of Data-Driven Decision Making at Higher Ed Institutes, with Dr. Amelia Parnell

Join D2L for a chat with Dr. Amelia Parnell about data and analytics at higher education institutes and why she believes everyone is a data person.

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Episode Description

In today’s show, we’re going deep on data. With a growing pressure for college professionals to provide evidence of successful activities, programs and services, data-informed decision making must become part and parcel of the way higher education is conducted. But as any faculty member, provost or admin will tell you, it can be challenging to experiment and accurately measure outcomes in an educational setting. However, as you’ll learn in today’s episode, there are tools available that allow higher ed professionals to effectively obtain the information they need.

To discuss this issue further, we welcomed Dr. Amelia Parnell, vice president for research and policy at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA)Dr. Parnell and Dr. Ford chatted about:

  • Reframing the attitude to analytics and data in higher ed.
  • How can educators use analytics to demonstrate efficacy around learning outcomes.
  • The five essential things that any higher ed professional should keep in mind when using data.
  • The most common types of data that institutions are collecting and analyzing.
  • Why data governance is so important.

Show Notes

01:29: An introduction to Dr. Amelia Parnell

02:49: The inspiration behind the book

04:48: Practical examples of how educators can take a data-informed approach to routine tasks

10:15: Dr. Parnell discusses the shifts she’s observed over the last 10 to 15 years when it comes to analytics in education

13:21: The importance of re-evaluating learning outcomes

17:16: The data identity framework

20:40: Why there’s no such thing as right or wrong data

24:58: Dr. Parnell discusses inherent bias and other common challenges with collecting and analyzing data

32:39: How corporations can use data to build better partnerships with educational institutes

36:15: Dr. Parnell’s call to action for listeners


Amelia Parnell headshot

Dr. Amelia Parnell

vice president for research and policy, NASPA Read Dr. Amelia Parnell's bio
Dr Cristi Ford

Dr. Cristi Ford

Vice President of Academic Affairs, D2L Read Dr. Cristi Ford's bio
Kiara Williams, Student Voice Advocate
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