It All Worked...Except When It Didn't: Building a Data-Driven Faculty Culture

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

 Over the past few years, Georgia State University’s Learning Innovations Team has worked with detailed student learning analytics to draw our faculty into new conversations about their teaching methods in both in-person and online environments. In this session, we’ll share our lessons learned, both technical and cultural, and how they’ve shaped our journey from sophisticated, to foundational, and increasingly back to sophisticated.


Julian Allen is the Chief Learning Innovations Officer and Assistant Vice President at Georgia State University, an institution known for its dedication to the success of students from a variety of backgrounds. He leads a team of innovative thought-leaders in the areas of Learning Design, Learning Technology, Learning Spaces, Learning Communities and Learning Analytics. His current research interests focus on the interaction of the design of learning spaces and the behaviors of the instructors and students who work in those spaces. His recent research found links between rooms designed to support active learning and positive student engagement. Julian has presented at the EDUCAUSE annual conference and ELI meetings on topics ranging from the deployment of mobile devices into learning environments to strategic partnerships designed to improve faculty success. This is Julian's third year serving as faculty at the Learning Technology Leadership program within the EDUCAUSE Institute. He recently completed his term serving on the Leading Academic Transformation Advisory Board. He also serves as a faculty member in the Hawkins Leadership Roundtable. Julian earned his PhD in instructional technology from Georgia State University. His previous academic work included earning an MBA with a concentration in marketing, also at Georgia State University, and an undergraduate degree in architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Justin is the Director of New Learning Models at Georgia State University's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Co-director of Online Programs at Georgia State's two-year Perimeter College. He earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Policy Studies.
Background Prior to joining Georgia State University, Tracy held various staff and leadership roles in the areas of training, instructional technology, and instructional design at Georgia Perimeter College for over 14 years. She was previously employed by Mercer University as an Instructional Technology Specialist. Before entering the field of instructional technology, she was a mathematics teacher. Tracy holds a BS in Computer Science and M.Ed. in Instructional Technology from Georgia College & State University. Specialties Current areas of focus include learning analytics, adaptive learning, accessibility, and next-generation digital learning environments.

Extended Abstract

Our university’s relentless, data-driven, pilot-and-scale approach to improving student success has been extraordinarily successful, especially in the areas of enrollment management, student services, and course redesign. Situated in our Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, we’ve been working to build on this culture of innovation and provide our nationally recognized faculty additional tools and data they can use to shape, track, and scale our next generation of best practices. More specifically, to help improve student outcomes, we’ve been working to provide face-to-face and online instructors clear overviews of who has and hasn’t succeeded in their classes historically as well as the kinds of engagement and learning-objective-level data they can use to make real-time adjustments.

In this presentation, we’ll share how our journey with faculty started with sophisticated black-box “solutions” that led us back to the basics. We’ll also discuss how faculty feedback has shaped our approach at each step of the way, share technical lessons, and offer strategies for building buy-in and collaborative communities around data. Lastly, we’ll share what the road ahead looks like for us and encourage attendees to offer insights of their own.