Implement Effective Universal Interventions for Large Student Populations

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studentsA number of universal interventions have increased the quality of education in both K-12 and higher education settings.  Universal interventions are commonly used as a preventative measure for common problems seen among a certain population (e.g. binge drinking and suicidal ideation among college freshmen or bullying in elementary schools).  By offering necessary educational tools coupled with a safer learning environment, schools can avert disasters and see superior academic progress.  In addition, better learning environments can drive revenue among private schools and institutions of higher education by promoting positive public perception and building the right brand for the school.  One of the largest challenges when implementing universal interventions is using predictive analytics to leverage the probability that the benefits of universal interventions will outweigh the necessary allocation of resources.

Turning Predictions into Increased Opportunities and Revenue

The right universal interventions can build positive PR and get superior test scores.  It is important to invest in the right business intelligence software to clearly present both sides of the equation.  First, you need to have the ability to collect and analyze baseline data on a large scale.  Second, you have to have the ability to predict the success of universal intervention implemented.  Using the right business intelligence software can provide both parts of the equation in a quick and easy format.  Business intelligence software can expedite the analysis of big data and predicted outcomes over time.

Challenges Associated with Preventative Universal Interventions

Preventative interventions can be challenging to implement on a continual basis.  Primarily, the results from preventative initiatives are infrequently seen in the short-term.  Many preventative interventions are implemented after a highly noticeable or highly publicized crisis.  Examining the correlation of hot topics in education such as substance abuse, bullying, suicide, and issues associated with low SES in K-12 education and increased access to resources can be conducted when designing universal interventions such as positive behavioral support systems (PBiS).  It is important to examine historical district or university data when choosing how to best allocate funds for universal interventions for large student bodies.  A number of benefits can result from the implementation of the right universal interventions.  Some are listed below:

  • More opportunities to earn grant monies and private donations
  • More opportunities to attract a profitable student body
  • More opportunities to help students reach their academic and career goals
  • More opportunities to address areas of concerns from moral and ethical standpoints

Many interventions are implemented due to a sudden reaction after a crisis situation.  Instead of suddenly allocating resources to address an event that may have been a statistical fluke, use business intelligence software to allocate resources for sustainable interventions that can yield valuable results over time.

The Right Way to Display Big Data Over Time

Another challenge when implementing the right universal interventions is gaining the right buy-in from a variety of stakeholders with numerous agendas. It is important to use business intelligence software that is easy to use and easy to create graphic representations of trends over time in addition to correlations supported by multiple peer-reviewed studies and empirically-based evidence.  Present a clear plan that uses school or district-specific data in addition to a broad body of evidence with graphic representations of big data.  Instead of inundating stakeholders with a dizzying number of statistics, make the initial numbers easy to understand.  Furthermore, find a simple and logical way to relate an intervention for a large student body to several initiatives that remain highly important to stakeholders such as increased fiscal opportunities and opportunities for growth.

A Vision Combined with Big Data

Having a vision on how to make education better is great.  However, it is best to back up a vision for the next generation with historical trends in big data.  Do not wait for another school-related crisis.  Use the right BI software to set up a universal intervention that will yield superior results for a large student body instead of engaging in continual damage control.

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