It’s hard to overstate the importance of a collaborative, cross-functional approach to student success. With so many players influencing a student’s path toward a credential, it’s essential that the different functions within an institution develop a shared context for each of their students.
Becoming student-centered, of course, is not without its growing pains as Civitas Learning’s Director of Research, Eric McIntosh, discussed recently. So much of our work with our partners has been focused on easing the pains Eric writes about in order to build the communities of learning that can rally institutions around making student success a top institutional priority.
We’ve been ecstatic with the progress our partners’ DIAL Working Groups have made in breaking down functional silos, shortening feedback loops and turning insights into action. If you’ve been part of this work with us for any length of time, you know that it’s no mean feat to align diverse stakeholders on the meaning of predictive insights specific to their institutions, and to translate them into effective policies, practices and interventions.
If you’re not familiar with DIAL Working Groups, here’s a primer: The DWG is the core group of individuals at a partner institution with the expertise to apply institution-specific insights to drive decisions and initiatives about student success. Generally composed of a mix of stakeholders from Institutional Effectiveness, Student Services and Advising, Enrollment Management, Academic Affairs, and Faculty, this team leads the charge in turning insight into action.
About that name: DIAL is an acronym for data, insights, action and learning, and represents the iterative student success methodology we’ve developed with our partners. In essence, it’s about gathering data mostly unique to the institution from disparate sources, applying advanced analytics to derive predictive insights, acting on those insights, learning from those actions’ outcomes, and incorporating those learnings into the next DIAL cycle. Learn more in this blog post by Civitas Learning Co-founder and Chief Learning Officer, Mark Milliron.
Beyond helping to convene and provide guidance to DIAL Working Groups, enabling our partners to better collaborate to support their students’ success has been core to our services work with our partners and to the design of our products.
But collaboration doesn’t have to be restricted to moments when all the key stakeholders are in the same room at the same time. It can be asynchronous, which is the theme of our most recent updates to Illume. Those include features like Scratchpad and shareable URLs.
With these tools, our partners will be able to capture, save and share with colleagues insightful analyses, so that they can mark changes over time and use them to collaborate in the design, measurement or iteration of their student success efforts.