Real-Life Applications of Data Science in Education
While the Data Science industry is booming, it is still very nascent but very promising. This industry is expected to grow by 26% by 2026, and data science as a field is still unknown to most of us.
Let me give you an example when you’re travelling to an unknown place for the first time. The most common source available now is our GPRS services. So, when we activate the GPRS for our road travel, it uses various branches of data science to seek out the shortest route, estimate time of arrival, nearby places for petrol re-fill and eating outlets. All these activities are assisted by the data science software running in the background.
To summarise, the Data Science team everywhere helps the organizations manage, tackle, analyze their data every day. To simplify, Data science is a field that helps to structure the data using the Data Mining Technique.
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While influential data scientists can identify the industry’s latest trends, they then help the organizations structure their data and find relevance to the overload of information available everywhere. We need to understand how Data Science in education has become the latest trend worldwide.
As the world went through, COVID-19 pandemic, we saw most of the students roaming around the house with their laptops at all times. I spoke to a few cousins who appeared anxious about this massive transformation in their daily routine and took a lot of time to adapt to this ‘new normal’. I remember one of my cousins stating that she isn’t enjoying the process of education and miss writing notes in her notebook.
The education system of India especially has taken another route – Online Classes and E-Submissions of assignments and exams, etc. It still is a massive challenge for most of us to do everything ‘virtually’. Technology and current times have taken a route of transformation. Therefore, Data Science in education is more important than ever, as it steps into our learning system.
Everyday interactions of teachers and students are now being recorded via various platforms; class participation and other things are being assessed. Because of this, the richness of the Educational data has become more valuable with the increasing number of online courses.
Advantages of Data Science in the Education
According to Standford University, the Data science industry will be benefitted from this format of teaching. Some of these advantages are:
- Educational data science would help and train the ‘educators’ or ‘teachers’ where they will be able to enhance their teaching style and understand various techniques that interest the students more.
- Educational data science will encourage educators to include data visualization, data reduction and description, and prediction tasks.
- Data reduction will simplify the process of grading and assignments for the students.
- The data visualization process will help students attract complex data in a more straightforward form and be taught in a storytelling format.
The schools and other online programme providers must understand the contextualization of education: what works for whom, when and where – this will keep motivating the programme’s instructor to find new ways of teaching.
Applications of Data Science in Education
Now that we understand how data science is contributing to the education industry. Let us find various applications in which data science in education could be used.
Student Assessment Data
Do you remember those good old days? When you used to go to school or college and attend ‘physical class’ where you could sit with your best friend, make fun of others and bond with everyone while eating those delicious snacks during your break time. Well, gone are those days. While some of us are enjoying attending these virtual classes as we sip our hot tea and snuggle to our blankets. These virtual classes have their benefits. Here, we have to show our faces, and our attendance is marked. There might be days when you would have gone back to sleep after it. We all must have done it; at least one…elsewhere is the fun?
So, while we attend virtual classes comfortably, our teachers make a lot of effort to make sure that we follow all the essential concepts, understand them, and interact in the same way as done in the physical classes earlier.
Therefore, to understand those various factors like how many students are attentive, participating or when a student lost interest, and so on. Everything could be analyzed via Big Data Analytics in real-time. With this tool, teachers can assess their students and improvise, strategize accordingly for their next class.
Social and Behavioural Skills
With COVID-19, all of us were locked up. Did you enjoy it? Well, yes, maybe in the first phase of the lockdown, where we had a gala time with our families. But, slowly and gradually, it started to affect our emotional and mental well-being, and we felt like we were trapped in our own house. And, with so much suffering around, were you able to educate yourself?
All thanks to our Schools and Universities, who played a critical role and started to conduct various workshops on mental health and how to keep a positive mindset at all times. No one can deny how inexplicably social and behaviour skills are essential for academic and non-academic reasons.
With the advanced technology, there are various data science techniques, which help the teacher detect whether the students can use their social skills during the classes. It enables the teacher to identify the students who cannot connect or adequately interact with peers or behaviour. Even though their classes are not conducted formally, teachers expect their students to behave appropriately. This is where data science in education comes into play by helping students enhance their overall personality development. Also, they will be able to pay extra attention to students who need ‘help’ and conduct sessions with counsellors or therapists.
Parents play a vital role in their children’s growth and development, and schools and Universities are pro-active for the overall development of their students as they’re the future leaders.
Universities and schools keep organizing extra workshops and conferences for these succeeding leaders. And, not just for the students, some of them are specifically focused and planned for the guardians. They can support their children through these crucial years of their lives and various stages involved in their personality development process.
For the same, teachers use the data science tools to analyze the data and even the history of the events attended. If students or parents miss these workshops, they’re notified and sometimes teachers do one-to-one sessions so that the parents realize how important is this aspect.
Keep Up with the Curriculum
Getting into the right University is so essential for all of us? Even if we as kids aren’t satisfied with our schools. We make sure to study hard and get into that ‘dream college’. That dream college has a particular reputation in the industry only because they can keep their curriculum updated with the latest developments, take feedback from parents, advise from experts, and evolve with the technology.
Various data science tools like Python, Jupyter and Hive, etc., evaluate the market trends and improve the curriculum accordingly. The quality of education provided by any institution is of utmost importance.
Each one of us has a favourite teacher. Now, let’s be honest and think, what makes that teacher our favourite? Well, we might get along, pay extra attention, and like to know how we are doing in life; otherwise, it helps us plan a path for the future. There are many reasons our teachers have stayed in the same school or college to guide us, be a guardian or protect us from bullies. With all the extra help, they work so hard to make learning a fun process for us.
The school analyses the mode of delivery and techniques used by the instructors and thus compares them with students’ performance through the results of their exams or grades. The school needs to know what and how a teacher contributes to their school and its’ students’.
Big data technology helps assemble huge and expansive data, increasing with time. This data is massive and hard to keep up with, so we use conventional tools that help us investigate and transform the data into manageable sizes. Such technology is mandatory to keep track records of the instructors/teachers because they usually have a long association with the institutions. So for the school staff, it is essential to understand which teacher is getting what kind of feedback from their students.
Isn’t it fascinating to meet new people from everywhere in the world? We have always been fond of learning different cultures and ways to learn a new concept/subject. This is the beauty of online classes, which allows us to connect with like-minded people from across the globe in no time. I remember doing a program where I made life-long friends, and we even helped each other get jobs in other countries. This is the gift of globalization, truly!
For the same, our universities and teachers need to know where we are from, the target audience, and how much they can use regional language or give local references in the class.
From the organizational perspective, data science in education is essential because different techniques will improve and reshape their existing leadership methods. They will know specific areas where they need to change, replace, etc. Then, educational organizations (schools, universities, and private educational institutions) will be able to plan and execute better.
At the International level, Education policies are constantly revolving and should be supported by the governments of each country. The government must understand that data science in the education industry will be a part of this ‘new normal’ lifestyle. Therefore, it is essential to support lifelong learning, offer teacher education programs, and conduct workshops on protecting personal data for both teachers and students.
With the introduction of data science in education, our ways to learn and grow have expanded by leaps and bounds. This is a positive and transformational step for our future generations that will reciprocate. Countries will have mutually beneficial relationships for enhancing academia-industry collaboration for a bright and progressive future.