Institutional Data for Data-driven Decision-making: Introductory Biology Model

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Sarah Jardeleza, Rebecca Matz, and Cori Fata-Hartley
Typically, institutions rely on administrators and individual faculty to report on student learning outcomes; however, this leads to oversight of a greater expanse of institutional data that are also critically important in making course and curricular decisions. The MSU Biology Initiative is using institutional data as part of the improvement efforts. This particular use of institutional data addresses questions of enrollment needs, student demographics, and program tracking for the introductory biology courses at MSU, particularly the Cell and Molecular Biology course (BS161) which is first in the sequence. The results can be used to address further questions that may help “close the loop” in evaluation of the broader MSU Biology Initiative. Specifically, the data can be used in deciding where resources would be best allocated and which interventions might prove most effective to improve overall success and retention of the College of Natural Science biology majors. Training and use of institutional data suggestions and resources are discussed.

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