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SEMINAR: Developing, Studying, and Sharing a Longitudinal Database of Student Educational Records

Event Date: February 14, 2013
Speaker: Dr. Matt Ohland
Speaker Affiliation: Professor, School of Engineering Education
Time: 3:30pm
Location: ARMS B071
Contact Name: Alice Pawley
Contact Email:

Retention is the dominant metric in studying student success in engineering education and in higher education in general, yet available national datasets do not facilitate establishing national retention benchmarks. A national, longitudinal, student unit-record database would make it possible to calculate retention and other metrics consistently. This would permit benchmarking, support peer comparisons, and the development of more sophisticated metrics backed by community support. With input from a wide variety of stakeholders, a plan has been developed that will build on the successful development and study of an existing longitudinal dataset containing student records for more than 1,000,000 unique students. Among the topics discussed will be privacy, confidentiality, trust, collaboration, context, limitations, and funding policy related to this longstanding project.

Dr. Matthew Ohland is a Professor of Engineering Education and has been on the faculty at Purdue since 2006. He is best known for research on the longitudinal study of engineering students and the management of student teams. He was a First-Year Engineering course coordinator and taught thousands of first-year engineering students before taking a sabbatical for the 2012-2013 academic year.