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American Higher Education in Crises book cover

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Conference Program now posted! This year's line-up includes:


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Join Keynoters Goldie Blumenstyck (Chronicle of Higher Education) and Phil Hill and Michael Feldstein (MindWires Consulting)

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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Predicting Attrition -- It's Math, Not Magic

Mike Sharkey (Blue Canary, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 10:15am
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Vendor Showcase
Europe 5
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 6

Hear first hand how educational predictive models are created. By getting an insiders view, you'll better understand how it might apply to your institution.

Extended Abstract

Do you feel as if the promises of analytics in higher education contain more hype than reality? The goal of this session is to unpack the details of a higher ed predictive model. What are the inputs? What are the outputs? What can an institution do with the results? What DOESN'T a model do? The presenter will use retention analytics as a backdrop -- using data to predict student success. Given this kind of approach, the goal is that understanding the details will help institutions and potential users of analytics to better align their expectations.

Lead Presenter

Mike Sharkey is the President and founder of Blue Canary, a data and analytics services firm serving higher education institutions. Mike has been on the leading edge of analytics in higher education, helping institutions leverage their data to improve student success. He has implemented models at scale, collaborated with numerous other institutions, and presented findings at conferences. His experiences include work with the University of Phoenix and collaborations with the PAR Framework. Prior to Blue Canary, Mike worked as the Director of Academic Analytics for the Apollo Group (U. of Phoenix), he was a manager with Deloitte Consulting, and held a variety of roles with large and small technology companies. Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Lafayette College and an MBA from the University of Arizona. Mike has recently presented at Educause, ELI, AEI, OLC, and the Learning Analytics & Knowledge conference covering various topics in academic analytics & technology.