University Of Arizona Using Student Card Tracking To Predict Drop Outs

March 12, 2018

The University of Arizona has been using its student ID cards--and big data--to help figure out which students are most likely to drop out in their freshman year, according to the school. According to the school, it has been able to use big data and machine learning, combined with data such as where students are swiping their identification cards, such as the student union, rec center, and library, to attempt to predict which students are at the most risk of dropping out of school.

According to Dr. Sudha Ram, a professor of management information systems, the "digital traces" from those cards are being used to map "social relationships" between students, allowing the school to even determine which students interacted with one another and how often.

The researchers said that, so far, their research has been able to accurately predict 85 to 90 percent of the freshmen who would not return for a second year at the school.

Alexis Blue University Communications