Forsyth County Schools Recognized by State Education Leaders, IMS Global for New Analytics Dashboard
“When we started, I thought it was about creating a dashboard,” Fleming said. “Have something that people can visit, and they would be amazed. I quickly realized, the dashboard is nice, but no one has time to go. No one has time to click and sort the data. So I really believe that after speaking with Evans, Teaching and Learning and our advisors, the best thing we can do is make it easy for them to find information.
It was then that they created, in collaboration with Microsoft, the Academic Virtual Assistant, or AVA.
AVA works similarly to other well-known virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa, pulling data that already exists to make information easily accessible to users. Fleming said he believes, however, that this may be the first time that a similar program has been created for use in educational settings.
At this time, AVA may collect information to send to teachers or counselors who may be of use to them. For example, school counselors could ask AVA to email them each morning with an updated list of students who have more than five absences. This information, updated daily, can show counselors which students they need to help and how they can help them.
From this email, counselors can click on a student’s name and access a daily report showing their name, grade level, grade point average, and another new metric: their graduation prediction score. of the diploma.
Fleming and Godwin were able to create this score by giving data on AVA students for the past 10 years and teaching them the credits the students needed to graduate. By going through this data, the machine was able to learn what factors contributed to the students’ graduation.
Using this old data, AVA was able to predict whether students graduated with a 97% pass rate.
“Then we taught him to look through all of our current students,” Fleming said. “And he does it every night. Examine each child using what you have already learned through machine learning, but also knowing what courses they need and whether they pass or fail, and predict whether they will graduate or not.
With this tool, counselors can get a better idea of who they need to help academically, especially with regard to seniors who should be on track to graduate in the next year. school year. The idea of this tool is to bring the district’s graduation rate to 100%.
AVA is also a chatbot that can interact with students. For example, Fleming said AVA could ask students if they want to see if they are on track to graduation or if they would like to make an appointment with their advisor, and if they do. do, AVA can arrange this meeting for them.
Going forward, Fleming and Godwin both said that AVA could be used and developed for much more in areas of the school district.
“Whatever the question [students or staff] if you have enough time to put it all together, you can ask AVA any questions related to our data, ”Fleming said. “I know it sounds a bit Star Trek-y, but it uses artificial intelligence. That’s what we already have.
Evans, Fleming and Godwin presented the new dashboard to the Forsyth County Board of Education during their last working session. During this presentation, Evans said their team and Superintendent Dr Jeff Bearden had received many requests from state and local councils in the region to further present the dashboard to the virtual assistant.
After presenting to the Georgia Board of Education and winning a Bronze IMS Global Learning Impact Award, Bearden said he plans to share his ideas with any other board interested in implementing their own dashboard.
For more information, visit the district website at www.forsyth.k12.ga.us.