Teaching with technology

Conference tracks

Higher Education Institutional Research Conference

HEIR2016 conference tracks

Formats of submission:

  • 25 minute research paper
  • 25 minute discussion paper/work in progress
  • 50 minute workshop
  • Poster

Improving student engagement and experience: how IR can help?

Developing an understanding of students’ engagement with their learning and how they experience their learning journey is integral to ongoing debates about the quality and impact of higher education. This track will bring together institutional researchers – focused on educational development, academic practice, the student experience, planning, and policy development – to discuss the various dimensions of student experience and engagement. Key questions include: How can institutional research (qualitative or quantitative) help institutions to understand and inform key transitions in student journey? How could institutional data influence development of the curriculum and pedagogic practice? Examples of engaging students in IR to improve their experience are particularly welcome.


Learning gains: measuring student progress, achievements and success

Measuring the ‘distance travelled’ by students during their studies is a challenging task for institutional researchers. As HE sectors worldwide are attempting to develop better ways of capturing educational outcomes, this track will consider submissions focused on how institutional data can be utilised for measuring student learning and development. It will also encourage exploration of the methodological aspects of IR – for example, reflections on institutional experiences of different methods of measuring learning gain that are currently in use both nationally and internationally.


Emerging technological tools to support IR

This track will provide an opportunity for institutional researchers to share their experiences of utilising technology in institutional research. It particularly welcomes submissions that address the following questions: How effective is learning analytics in forecasting patterns of student engagement and retention?  How are bibliometrics, predictive analytics, alt-metrics and metrics of collaboration utilised by institutional stakeholders (e.g. policymakers, research directors, administrators or information specialists) to measure research performance or to understand online activity that supports scholarly content? The track will explore the role of technology-facilitated outputs in informing practice at institutional, departmental and course level.


Informing decision making: planning, policy and management

Institutional data are a crucial to the process of informed decision-making. This track welcomes papers that address the question of how institutional research could support leadership, policy and strategic management. Key questions include: What are the best proxies for quality and sustainability when assessing higher education institutions? What role do national and global university rankings play in institutional and government decision-making? The track also welcomes submissions focused on research and data analysis related to staff engagement, internationalisation, research productivity, civic engagement activities involving both staff and students, employability, and other topics not directly related to teaching and learning.