Skip to Main Content

Moving from “What is that?" to Data-Informed Practice

A Faculty Member Shares Her Experience Using REX

January 14, 2020 10:18 AM
For all those interested in data-driven decision making, there is a rich trove of data available to research thanks to the data warehouse Reports Exchange (REX). Although all faculty have had access to the system for over a year, many instructors still don’t know what is available to them, or equally important, what they can do with this resource. However, there are faculty  who stand out for their trailblazing efforts to leverage the warehouse to advance their scholarship and departmental policy.

Liz Stanwyck is a Senior Lecturer with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and an active REX user. She began digging into REX as soon as she knew it existed, having learned about the warehouse several years ago during a Faculty Development Center event.  “I use it to look at changes in DFW rates over time… to find out which of my students might need help more than others,” says Stanwyck, who’s able to drill down to second-time repeaters as a particular risk group, and take advantage of at-a-glance statistics. “I can use REX to get a list of those students and write them individually.” Indeed, this functionality was built out at her request within a week of her request and the developers were “incredibly responsive.”

Stanwyck lauds the existing reports as very versatile as well, including the Grade Comparison - Course to Course, which is exceptionally helpful to track student success across gateway courses, and identify patterns that can potentially impede progression using data. She also makes use of the Plan Counts report to help support students. “As an advisor I use it a lot to look at all of my advisees and see how the major has grown or changed over time and how changes we've made in the department affect our students,” notes Stanwyck.

It’s also possible to use REX data to not only report, but also to develop one’s own models for action research. “I started an exploration a few years ago to see if my students in an introductory business 300-level stat class are achieving the learning outcomes for that class,” Stanwyck describes. “I came up with a pre and post test for the students so I could measure their learning, and then I dug down into REX data to start to associate those learning gains with different demographics and backgrounds, and I've presented that at two or three provost teaching and learning symposiums.”

In this example, Stanwyck highlights how REX data can be used not just for description, but also for more robust inferential and even predictive projects. Indeed, the particular efforts supported adjustments to Math 155, an applied calculus course that was initially redesigned four years ago. “We have tweaked and twiddled and played around with that class, and every semester we change one thing and then go back at REX and see overall what's the data like.”

From reporting, to analysis, monitoring, and evaluation, to data informed decision making – REX provides an array of reports and resources to help faculty and staff do their jobs better. If you’re new to the data warehouse, then this FAQ collection will provide you with all of the information you need to get started. If you’ve already accessed the Reports Exchange in the past and are ready to dive in, welcome back. Don’t forget, help is just an RT ticket away!
0 Comments (requires login)