Elements of Success - You've Got This

In 2014, the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology (OTLT) launched a new initiative aimed at providing a real-time learning analytics and performance feedback platform for students. Originally implemented in a single course in 2014, this year, approximately 9,500 students across 18 courses were able to use the platform, Elements of Success (EoS), to understand the strategies they can adopt to enhance their academic success.


Developed by OTLT in close collaboration with UI faculty members, EoS provides students new insights into their course progress. Many students struggle to accurately monitor their performance and identify ways to improve their course standing. EoS encourages students to become more reflective about their own learning by providing the data needed to make informed decisions. EoS is particularly effective in large lecture courses with frequent assignments, factors that allow EoS to utilize large-scale course data to create visual performance trends for students.


During a recent OTLT presentation, “Supporting Your Students’ Academic Resilience,” the Research & Analytics (R&A) team shared their EoS research results, including student feedback from 8 courses.


The R&A team also highlighted how data and learning analytics might be used most effectively to encourage students to persist in their coursework and succeed in their academic careers. They found that high-risk students—students who were likely to end the course with a lower GPA—who used EoS showed a marked improvement in their final scores, while students in similar standings who didn’t access EoS received their predicted final grade. There was no correlation between EoS usage and class withdrawals for the high-risk group, however there was a decrease in class withdrawals in the moderate-risk group who used EoS.


The event also included a panel discussion in which students discussed their experiences with EoS.


“I had been very anxious about my standing in the course after I did poorly on a test,” one student explained. “Elements of Success allowed me to realize that there was a chance I could improve, so I tried my best.”


Another student noted how EoS “provides clear expectations and a foundation to know how to conduct your future actions and study strategies.”


For the future, the R&A team aims to enhance the features of EoS to allow students a deeper understanding of the steps they might take to succeed in their courses.


If you're interested in implementing EoS in your course,contact the Research & Analytics team at its-ra@uiowa.edu.