Studying year-end metrics can help you on multiple levels. The first level is assessing the results of the course that was just completed. You will be able to gauge the course's efficacy and how your students benefitted from the material. Such immediate insights are especially helpful for continuing education courses or courses administered by contract trainers.
The second, however, involves looking at your course on a macro scale: its student base (target audience), the suitability of the materials, and much more. To truly understand where your course is heading, you need to know where it has been. You learn this by determining the appropriate metrics and gathering the applicable data.
The following are the top three short-term and long-term metrics that you should consider using for your reports:
Short-Term Metric Reports
The first short-term metric that you should study is the overall attendance rate of the course's term. This could be for the quarter, semester, or academic year. Be sure to note the number of dropouts, which obviously effects the profitability of the course. While this may seem like a minute detail to be concerned with, attendance reflects the engagement of your learners and will also affect grades, which we will cover in just a moment. Attendance plays a big role in competency and is something to consider for your next course.
Demographics plays a big role in marketing your course. When we demographics, we are referring to professional titles and career paths (particularly if you are managing a continuing education course or another form of professional learning). Perhaps this course was originally meant for middle management, but it seems to be helping entry-level employees, or vice versa. This will help you tweak your course material. However, why this is considered a short-term metric is because that in the ever-changing world of education such demographics may be only applicable for a short period of time. That is why it is essentially to study your metrics and student base on a regular level.
How did your students do this semester? Of course, each student is responsible for understanding, applying, and retaining the material covered in their course. However, if a disproportionate number of learners struggled with the material, there may need to be a change to the course. The class structure or curriculum might need to be revised. The facilitator may have not covered the material extensively enough or failed to help the students who needed or asked for it. Regardless of the issue, it is crucial that you understand the reason behind the grades.
Long-Term Metric Reports
Employment is most definitely a long-term metric you'll want to report. Your team of administrators can measure each department's turnover rate to determine if there is something that needs to be fixed on the faculty side of things. Additionally, by assessing your employees, you can determine if they are facilitating the course correctly, thereby retaining a returning student base. This is particularly the case if you are a contract trainer that works with a team of employees who will regularly require training.
For many course administrators, this is one of the most important long-term metrics to study. Your enrollment should increase every year. In fact, your waitlist should be growing alongside of your course enrollment! However, sometimes this isn't the case. if there is a slump of enrollment after years of continuous growth, you need to figure out what happened. This will help you shape the course's future for years to come.
And last, but not least, the financial aspect of the course. Ensure there is no issues with your funding and speak with the necessary department of your organization to ensure the proper material, equipment, and resources are available to your student body. If your funding and resources are diminishing, there needs to be a meeting immediately. If the lack of funding is a matter of presenting facts about your course's worth, all you need is to show the data. Once again, XenDirect can help.
It's clear to see that long-term and short-term metrics are essential to the success of your course. If your team can access these reports, then you will not have any problem facilitating your course in the future.
Rick Stern is an entrepreneur, educator, and dedicated professional. He received his MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester. Rick has 20 years of experience managing continuing education programs and over 30 years in registration system development. Xenegrade Corp was founded by Rick Stern with a focus on service to educational organizations. His expertise provides valuable insight into the needs, demands, and trends of the continuing education market.More post by Rick J. Stern