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A Guide for Personal Tutoring and Academic Advising


In today’s ever-evolving educational landscape, institutions face the ongoing challenge of improving student retention rates amidst rising student enrolments (4% in the UK, 0.3% in Ireland with a 10.3% rise in international students, 45% since 2008 in Australia), reduced staff bandwidth, and facilitating new ways of learning. With a multitude of factors influencing students’ decision to stay enrolled, it has become imperative for educational institutions to employ data analytics and insights to inform their personal tutoring and academic advising strategies. This article explores the powerful role that data-driven approaches, such as engagement tracking, engagement dashboards, and personalized tutoring, play in promoting student retention and academic success.

higher education students engaging with each other on campus

Understanding the Importance of Student Retention

Student retention goes beyond mere statistics; it directly impacts the overall success of educational institutions. High retention rates not only reflect the effectiveness of an institution but also contribute to financial stability and student satisfaction. By recognizing the significance of student retention, institutions can proactively address the challenges and design targeted strategies to keep students engaged and motivated.

Utilizing Engagement Tracking

Engagement tracking enables institutions to gain a deeper understanding of how students interact with various academic resources and support systems. By leveraging sophisticated analytics tools, institutions can monitor and analyze students’ participation, attendance, and involvement in class activities, extracurriculars, and academic advising sessions. This data-driven approach empowers institutions to identify students who may be at risk of disengagement or dropping out, enabling timely intervention and support.

Empowering Advisors with Engagement Dashboards

Engagement dashboards provide academic advisors with comprehensive insights into students’ academic progress, engagement levels, and interaction patterns. These tools consolidate data from multiple sources, allowing advisors to assess individual student needs effectively. Armed with such information, advisors can personalize their guidance, identify areas for improvement, and recommend appropriate interventions to enhance student success. By having access to real-time data, advisors can proactively reach out to struggling students and offer tailored support.

Enhancing Personal Tutoring

Data analytics can significantly enhance the effectiveness of personal tutoring programs. By analyzing students’ academic performance data, learning preferences, and engagement patterns, institutions can match students with compatible tutors and personalize tutoring sessions accordingly. Tutors armed with insights can design targeted interventions, provide additional resources, and address specific challenges faced by students. This personalized approach fosters a supportive learning environment, strengthens the student-tutor relationship, and increases student confidence and motivation.

personal tutor using student engagement data insights to inform their advising sessions

Augmenting Academic Advising

Data-driven insights also empower academic advisors to deliver more impactful guidance. By considering students’ academic records, engagement data, and identified areas of improvement, advisors can provide informed advice on course selection, study strategies, and co-curricular involvement. Such personalized academic advising helps students make well-informed decisions aligned with their interests, strengths, and long-term goals, leading to increased satisfaction and improved retention rates.


Incorporating data analytics and insights into personal tutoring and academic advising strategies can revolutionize student retention efforts. Through engagement tracking, engagement dashboards, personalized tutoring, and informed academic advising, institutions can proactively identify at-risk students, intervene promptly, and provide tailored support. By leveraging the power of data, educational institutions can cultivate a culture of personalized and proactive student support, resulting in improved student retention, academic success, and overall institutional growth.