Data of a ‘Kickstart Your Reseach’ Initiative at a University

The role that ‘data’ plays in the Kickstart Your Research (KYR) initiative is important for a number of reasons.  These include continuous improvement, content enhancement, and decision making (strategic planning).

Kinds of data we could get from KYR

The scope of the KYR engagement is the first year of enrolment in a Higher Degree Research (HDR) program at the University leading up to confirmation. With an OpenDesk site hosted and controlled by the University, we will have the capacity to tap into the rich data sets that the Moodle system is capable of providing. This data will have great benefits not only for oncoming HDR students but for all stakeholders of the University. Areas where data from KYR can be used are:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Content enhancement
  • Strategic Planning

Continuous Improvement

The needs of HDR students will continue to evolve with changing environmental and technological conditions. The University is committed to ensuring it responds to these needs in a timely fashion.  The KYR facility will contribute to this area by ensuring it closes the loop as far as data capture is concerned. The data services relevant to monitoring and measurement include:

  • Collecting meaningful data
  • Extracting existing data
  • Analysing supported KPIs
  • Dissemination information to stakeholders
  • Direction and action plans

ResearchMaster System

The is establishing an information system for research.  The ResearchMaster system is expected to provide an information management platform to support the full pipeline for HDR students. This project has an overall aim of ensuring that the University has a functioning research management information system that meets the data capture, storage, and reporting (both external and internal) requirements of the University in relation to management information of research data activities and performance. This system will be the source of validated data for inclusion in the University’s data warehouse for management and operational reporting.

Data to support HDR students?

The data collected through the KYR course can be used to inform the process of content design and improvement. It could also be used as a basis of some sort of gap analysis to identity any gaps in content. There are two mechanisms to get data from the site: (1) is by design using evaluations and surveys that be built into the site (this is already done with the Survey Monkey survey link for the course evaluation); and (2) the data OpenDesk collects through logs and web statistics. Data collected from these can be used to identify:

  • Gaps in content areas
  • Quality of contents
  • Relevancy of Content
  • Quality of Service
  • Usability of the site

Data support for Strategic planning

Over time the rich data collected will enable us to analyse a number of organisational measures:

  • Conversion rates
  • Retention rates
  • Progression rates
  • Participation rate

Privacy of Information

With data comes the important issue of privacy of information. The University has appropriate policies to address participant concerns. KYR ensures that data it analyses is at an aggregated level.

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