Using learning analytics for student retention

Using learning analytics to improve student retention in STEM courses

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Retention of students is a problem for many STEM courses. Interventions to improve student retention in STEM courses require a deeper understanding of what engages a student with a course. Previous research has shown that the strongest predictors of attrition tend to be behavioural data such as learning or academic performance. Learning analytics is where student behavioural data with an online learning management system is analysed to provide insights into how the student is engaging with the learning materials. This project will further explore how learning analytics can be used to improve retention across STEM courses. This project will explore the complexities of data collection and data analytics and provide suggestions on the kinds of data that can be successfully collected and that are useful in the quest to improve retention. This project will also identify data supported interventions that can help to address retention challenges.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr James Montgomery


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,854 per annum (2022 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr James Montgomery to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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