Analytics for Course Engagement (ACE)

More information on ACE, UC's new early alert system.

 

Analytics for Course Engagement (ACE)

UC is implementing a new platform that will provide students and staff with an enhanced real-time view of online engagement with learning systems. The Analytics for Course Engagement system, or ACE, sits within LEARN and uses machine learning, drawing data from student engagement with course materials, assignments, and Echo360. Every first year student taking 100 level courses will have access to a personalised ACE dashboard for each of their courses, helping them to better understand whether they’re on track to succeed in their studies.

ACE uses a comparative measure, showing students how their engagement is tracking compared to their classmates. Students can view their engagement dashboard on the LEARN website.

What are the objectives of ACE?

Systems like ACE have increased in popularity over recent years. Levels of student engagement have been linked to student success, and the monitoring of student engagement will help UC to flag decreased or sudden changes in engagement within the online environment. This will allow the University to connect students with services across campus that will support them to succeed in their tertiary studies. ACE will allow UC to:

  • Monitor the academic engagement of students with online resources
  • Flag students who may need additional support
  • Better support students and connect them to wider university services

What data does ACE use?

ACE uses data logs from students’ engagement with LEARN and Echo360 and creates an engagement “score” for each student. It then compares the student’s score to the average engagement score of all students in that course. ACE does not track performance or attendance at lectures.

Who sees the data?

ACE uses data that is already available within LEARN and Echo360, it simply aggregates it in one place. This data is available to the E-Learning team, and the ACE team. Students are able to see their own data on their ACE Dashboard on LEARN.

Each college has responders who will be notified about 100 level students who are flagged as needing to improve their engagement. The ACE system has a designated coordinator who will regularly draw down the engagement data to start the process of engaging students who have been flagged.

Who is included?

For 2020, ACE is being rolled out to all first year students. This is determined by their enrolment in 100 level courses.

What about privacy?

The UC Student Agreement has been updated this year to ensure that students know that UC might contact them or their emergency contacts if they have concerns about their engagement or safety, and all students agree to this when they accept their acceptance offer. The ACE team has worked closely with the privacy team to ensure we are meeting our legal obligations around privacy. For more information, contact records@canterbury.ac.nz

Who is involved in the ACE system?

There are many people involved with ACE. The ACE team sits within the Learning Evaluation and Academic Development team, and has a designated ACE Coordinator. The ACE team has been working closely with the enrolments team, accommodation providers, colleges, support services, the e-learning team, and many other contacts across UC to provide a coordinated integration of ACE for Semester 1 2020.

What do I do if I need further help?

If you have any questions about ACE can, you can contact analyticscourseengagement@canterbury.ac.nz. Alternatively, you can complete the ACE Feedback Form by clicking here.

 

I’m a lecturer in a 100 level course. What do I need to do?

Unless you’ve been approached by your respective college, you won’t need to do anything if a student is flagged by the ACE system. If you want to see your students engage more with LEARN materials, the e-Learning team can help with expert advice on online course design. Click here to get in touch with them.

How can I see what the engagement levels are like for my students?

Teaching staff do not have access to individual students ACE Dashboards. However, ACE is developing a Teacher Dashboard that will allow teaching staff to view the overall engagement levels of students in their course for the past three days, as well as the average engagement of their students over time. More information will be available on this in due course.

 

 

How do I read my engagement graph?

We have used a line graph to display your engagement so that you can see how it changes over time. The graph shows your engagement level as calculated by the ACE system. The vertical axis shows your level of engagement in terms of high, medium, and low. On the horizontal axis you can  see a timeline with every third day showing. On these dates, your engagement for the previous three days is measured and then your engagement level is calculated and displayed. For example, the engagement level shown for a Thursday date is calculated based on your engagement with LEARN and Echo360 on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

A point is then put on the graph to represent your engagement level and it forms a dark green line so you can see how your engagement tracks over time.The big light green band is centred on the average engagement of your classmates so you can see how your engagement tracks compared to them. The wider the band, the greater the range of engagement within your course.

Does it track my engagement on the weekends, holidays, or study break?

ACE will only check in on your engagement levels during term time and UC won’t contact you about this during any breaks. However, your graph may continue to show your engagement level over the break. The key thing with the engagement graph is that it shows the average engagement of your classmates too, so you’ll still be able to see how much others are engaging on average during these times.

Will this impact my grades?

ACE is a tool to help you track your level of engagement with your online resources. UC does not use your engagement levels to assess you in any way and it is not linked to your grades. However we may contact you if we notice that your engagement has dropped to see if there’s something we can do to help get your engagement back on track. Remember that ACE looks at engagement, not performance.

What do I do if my engagement is tracking below my classmates?

If this is the case you may want to check in with your classmates or your teaching staff, to be sure you haven’t missed anything like an assessment or online quiz. If ACE notices your engagement has dropped, UC might contact you to see if there’s something we can do to get your engagement back on track. If UC is concerned about your engagement and can’t get in touch with you, we may contact your emergency contact person or other relevant people or agencies. There are also a number of support services on offer across UC. Make the most of your studies and check them out here.

Why have I been sent a text message about ACE?

If ACE notices your engagement has dropped compared to your classmates UC might contact you to see if there’s something we can do to help get your engagement back on track. It’s important that you respond to communication from UC. If UC is concerned about your engagement and can't get in touch with you, we may contact your emergency contact person or other relevant agencies.

What if I don’t want to see my ACE tracker every time I open LEARN?

You can hide the tracker from your home page on LEARN by changing the settings on your LEARN homepage. Click the “Customise this page” button to change the blocks you see.

Hiding the tracker on your LEARN page does not remove you from the ACE system. This means that if ACE notices your engagement has dropped, UC may still contact you to see if there is something we can do to help get your engagement back on track.

Why can’t I see a graph on my ACE dashboard on LEARN?

Not every course is part of the ACE system. To start with we’re only looking at 100 level courses so if you’re not enrolled in any 100 level courses you won’t be able to see your engagement levels. We’re hoping to make this available to all undergraduate students in the future so keep an eye out!