HEat Index, Issue 19 – Student Voices, Data Security, and AI in Student Success

06/20/2024

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Welcome to this week’s issue of The HEat Index, where we turn up the temperature on the latest trends in higher education without adding to the scorching heat blanketing much of the country. Let’s dive into how students are navigating their educational journeys, the security implications of emerging AI technologies, and the potential of AI to enhance student success, all while keeping our cool amidst these challenges. 

After reading today’s issue, use the comments section to let us know if you have plans to use AI to support student success at your institution! 

 

Annual Student Voice Survey 

From 3 in 4 college students approve of education quality | Inside Higher Ed   

The results of Inside Higher Ed’s annual Student Voice survey reveal most students feel they are receiving a quality education that will prepare them for success after college.   

Our Thoughts 

Amid reports from multiple news outlets about the decline in public confidence in higher education, the results of this survey offer a refreshing counter-narrative. Overall, students appear satisfied with their educational experience and the preparation it provides for life after college. However, some express a desire for more robust career resources and improved mental health services.  

Overall, the survey offers valuable data for shaping policies, improving student support, and enhancing institutional effectiveness. It provides a comprehensive overview of student perceptions that highlights strengths and areas needing attention. By addressing the concerns and needs identified in the survey, higher education professionals can better support their students and ensure a more positive and successful college experience.  

 

AI and Data Security 

From Data Security Best Practices for AI Tools in Higher Education | EdTech Magazine  

EdTech Magazine offers some helpful guidance for keeping your institutions data secure when using AI tools.   

Our Thoughts  

As AI becomes more prevalent on college campuses, it is increasingly critical to address data security in this realm. With AI tools like Google Gemini and Microsoft Copilot becoming more integrated into educational platforms, understanding the potential security risks is vital. The article provides actionable steps you can take to protect sensitive information at your institutions. These measures are essential for maintaining data integrity and using AI effectively and safely in an academic setting.  

The author highlights the importance of proactive management of AI tools and emphasizes the need for continuous education and adaptation to stay ahead of potential security threats. Spending time with this article can help you better understand and navigate the complexities of integrating AI into your institution. 

 

Student Success and AI Guidance Needed 

From AI can help student success but officials need guidance | Inside Higher Ed   

A new report from EAB finds that while most student success professionals agree that AI could help identify at-risk students, few institutions are creating effortless ways to use AI for this task.   

Our Thoughts 

I often highlight various surveys and reports in this blog series because they provide valuable insights into people’s perspectives on specific topics. Despite the relatively small number of respondents (221) compared to the total number of U.S. institutions, the report still underscores AI’s potential to significantly enhance student support systems. More importantly, it also reveals a critical gap: most institutions lack a coordinated approach to integrating AI, leading to missed opportunities and inconsistent practices.   

Of course, AI is still a new and evolving technology, so I approached this report with a mix of optimism and caution. While it’s encouraging to see the potential of AI to support students, without greater AI literacy and a structured approach, ensuring its effective and equitable implementation will be challenging.

Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor
Senior Solutions Ambassador at Evisions

Allen Taylor is a self-proclaimed higher education and data science nerd. He currently serves as a Senior Solutions Ambassador at Evisions and is based out of Pennsylvania. With over 20 years of higher education experience at numerous public, private, small, and large institutions, Allen has successfully lead institution-wide initiatives in areas such as student success, enrollment management, advising, and technology and has presented at national and regional conferences on his experiences. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Western Carolina University, a Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel from The University of Tennessee, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Teaching, Learning, and Technology from Lehigh University. When he’s trying to avoid working on his dissertation, you can find him exploring the outdoors, traveling at home and abroad, or in the kitchen trying to coax an even better loaf of bread from the oven.

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