Data Analytics & Institutional Research

Data Analytics Workshop Series with Professor Victor Borden

About the Workshop Series

Conducted over a period of three years, this series, now in its second year, comprises scaffolded training workshops aimed at building Institutional Research (IR) and Data Analytics capacity at UKZN. Using Institutional Research as the focus, and the Top 20 "Gateway" courses at UKZN as the lens, the training workshops will enable participants to apply data analytics tools and practices to real data-sets from various sources with the aim of obtaining actionable insights around institution-wide challenges.

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NEXT STEPS: Action Analytics at UKZN

Combining action inquiry and data analytics to explore pathways for student success at UKZN

Through their participation in a training series, 15 colleagues at UKZN have selected a set of four inquiry projects through which they seek to engage interested colleagues to explore collaboratively how to improve student success at UKZN.  The training series, led by Professor Vic Borden (Indiana University) provided the 15 staff, comprising academics and support staff from a variety of disciplines or departments, with the methodology and initial tools needed to engage in collaborative inquiry to provide insights into how to better prepare and support students as they navigate through UKZN’s programmes and curricula.

Three key principles motivate this approach:

  • Data Analytics - Mining, modeling and analyzing data to enrich knowledge and inform decision making;
  • Collaborative Action Inquiry - Bringing together stakeholders to share interpretive perspectives and formulate and implement actions aimed at improving student outcomes;
  • Formative Assessment - tracking the fidelity of implementation and results achieved to optimize the actions taken.

Each of the four projects is coordinated by at least one College representative with one assigned staff member from Institutional Intelligence (II) and a liaison to the University Teaching and Learning Office (UTLO).  

Project Area Initial Analyses  Coordinators and Liaison  Actionable Areas 
Entry: Guiding students into the optimal qualification Patterns of selecting and switching; factors affecting and reason for switching
Annah Bengesai, LMS
Fayth Ruffin, LMS
Naveena Moodley (II)
Ebrahim Adam (UTLO)
Career advising, orientation, first semester curriculum
Progress: Mapping and tracking student progress to identify loss/ momentum points Progression mapping; Curricular pathways; Transition point modeling Randhir Rawatlal, Chem Eng
Kriyanka Moodley
Lennard Wood (II)
Ebrahim Adam (UTLO)
Timetabling, Identify bottleneck courses, Natural language e-advising
Support: Identify and share effective practices as evidenced through credible assessment Mapping of services – who provides what; Evidence of efficacy; impact on student success Vino Paideya, AES
Angeline Stephens, HUM
Sebenzile Ndlovu (II)
Shamim Singh (II)
Reshma Subbaye (UTLO)
Adapt integrated support model to UKZN context
Outcomes: Track degree recipients into employment and further education Where are graduates employed?; How well are we preparing students for our own postgraduate programmes? Fortune Shonhiwa, AES 
Sunitha Seerpath (II)
Anil Pillay (II)
Reshma Subbaye (UTLO)
Partner with industry to review how programmes meet needs; Mentoring of UGs by PGs, Skills curriculum for PG Study

Getting Involved

The coordinators for each project will be contacting colleagues who could contribute to and be informed by each project.  If you would like to learn more about the overall effort, contact Dr. Rubby Dhunpath ( If you are interested in a specific project, you can directly contact any the respective coordinators.

About Professor Victor Borden

Victor (Vic) Borden, Ph.D. is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. He is also a senior advisor to the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs. Professor Borden's general area of scholarship is the assessment of organizational performance within higher education institutions. Within this general area, he has pursued four themes: student progress and performance; organizational performance assessment and accountability; diversity and equity within higher education; and organizational learning and development as a framework for institutional research. His professional activities include consulting and teaching workshops on accountability and improvement, program assessment, statistics, survey research, and the use of technology for assessment, decision support, and institutional analysis.

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