Patient Care Technician/Assistant in board room

Case Study: Designing a Better Student Experience with Analytics

Curriculum executives at Education Corporation of America and Remington College needed better insights into system-wide course delivery and student performance.

Learning Insights from NHA brought new perspectives, expanded thinking and improved performance levels.

Over the past six years in his role as former vice president and dean of allied health at Education Corporation of America (ECA), Russell McGuire spent a majority of his time thinking about the best ways to train and support allied health students and educators across the company’s network of 70 locations.

McGuire was particularly attentive to the practical learning experiences of students, as he spent a great deal of time in classrooms and operating rooms. McGuire has been an operating room nurse and paramedic for nearly 40 years and holds a doctorate in nursing.

"Student outcomes were everything for us, and it took daily dedication to reach our goals for retention, pass rates, and placement rates,” says McGuire. "Upping our outcomes by a point or two meant that hundreds more students were successful. We were always looking for ways to improve the student experience, which is ultimately measured by graduation and job placement."

ECA schools already offered coursework and exam preparation materials for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) certifications from National Healthcareer Association (NHA). McGuire and his team started by testing NHA's new Learning Insights dashboards to help track learning performance and drive continuous improvement throughout ECA schools.

"No other certification provider has this kind of data and makes it this easy to get to. Variations in student commitment, faculty delivery, and curriculum sections had been impossible to track in the past, but NHA’s Learning Insights provides access with just a few clicks." — Russell McGuire, Former Vice President and Dean of Allied Health, Education Corporation of America

Learning Insights provided easy access to key metrics related to certification pass rates, sub-section exam scores, certification preparation usage, and more. Some instructors emphasized certain areas of the curriculum more than others, and Learning Insights helped identify that variation from instructor to instructor.

These advanced analytics offered administrators and instructors like McGuire the opportunity to seamlessly compare student performance on key metrics across campuses and programs as well as national, regional, and accreditation benchmarks.

"No other certification provider has this kind of data and makes it this easy to get to," says McGuire. Variations in student commitment, faculty delivery, and curriculum sections had been impossible to track in the past, but NHA’s Learning Insights provides access with just a few clicks. This gave us much better guidance on what worked and what needed improvement."

McGuire was able to combine the information on preparation material usage and insights with results like student ratings on courses and faculty. The combination of this new information energized curriculum planning and discussions.

"When we saw detailed performance and better understood correlations to pass rates, we were able to have more creative conversations," says McGuire. "Remediation was faster, pass rates continued to go up, and it made our curriculum cost-benefit analyses much more accurate. We also had much better guidance on how to deliver more value to our students, educators, and employers in the future."

McGuire always believed that taking impeccable care of ECA students - providing the best learning experience - was the key to student success and the continued success of ECA.

Seeing Things Differently and Standardizing Instruction

Bradley Moore is vice president of health sciences at Remington College and has worked in and around higher education for 24 years. Remington has 17 locations and offers NHA’s CCMA and Certified Pharmacy Technician Program (CPhT) certifications.

Student success is Moore’s primary concern. As a result of NHA’s Learning Insights, key success factors have come into sharper focus.

Tracking student success based on patterns of progress and proficiency, all the way down to the individual course or instructor level, is now a reality for Moore. Case in point: A specific performance gap was recently identified and fixed with information from NHA’s Learning Insights.

"We could see through Learning Insights that our students were having problems with our electrocardiogram (EKG) curriculum, across many of our locations," says Moore. "So we made adjustments to our instruction methods and materials around that subject and were able to see results right away. The tools eliminated the guesswork, and we were able to go immediately to the right spot and fix it."

Moore also appreciates the benchmarking feature, which allows him to compare results within his network or across the country.

"The tools eliminated the guesswork, and we were able to go immediately to the right spot and fix it." - Bradley Moore, Vice President of Health Sciences, Remington College America

"For the first time, we're able to see how students are doing in a cohort of peers locally, regionally, and nationwide," says Moore. "Learning Insights lets us drill down and be smarter about how we spend our time and prioritize resources."

Moore says the NHA team acts as a true consulting partner, ready to create custom reporting when needed and provide input on trends and patterns identified through Learning Insights. He likes that NHA is able to share best practices gleaned from customers nationwide.

"NHA's Learning Insights give us real curriculum intelligence that we can put to work in tangible ways," says Moore. "The better we understand student success factors, the better chance we have of delivering them."

Improving the Student Learning Experience