Keynote Speakers

Analytics Without Action is Just Analysis

For nearly 20 years, the promise of learning analytics has been greater insight that can help improve student success. But for too long now, the field has been preoccupied with perfecting predictions, often at the expense of implementing good interventions. As a result, the potential for scaling student success has stalled. In this keynote presentation, John Fritz will explore why learning analytics has not yet delivered on its potential, show how it can be used to help nudge students to take more responsibility for their learning, and identify course designs that help. He’ll also make a case that higher ed’s ethical obligation to act on what it knows about it’s students is fundamental to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 

Recorded Session


John Fritz is Associate Vice President for Instructional Technology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he is responsible for leading UMBC’s focused efforts in teaching, learning and technology. As a learning analytics researcher and practitioner, Fritz focuses on leveraging student use of digital technologies as a plausible proxy for engagement that can also shine light on pedagogical innovation. By looking for positive outliers in quantitative data patterns, he helps identify effective practitioners for qualitative interviews that might yield effective practices in teaching and learning. In this way he attempts to find, show and tell stories in data that can inspire the head and heart for change. 

Doing Justice: A Roadmap to Maximizing Student Potential

It is widely agreed that American higher education must work to close persistent achievement gaps among college students that disproportionately impact those from underrepresented minority, low income and first-generation backgrounds. Like politics, achievement gaps are local and context specific; however, there are things we can learn from the work of other institutions’ efforts. This talk will contextualize institutional efforts, one to tackle achievement gaps, both demonstrable and hidden.

Recorded Session


John Gates joined Purdue University in early 2019 as the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and clinical professor in the Krannert School of Management.Prior to his appointment at Purdue, Gates had served as the inaugural associate dean in the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. He was responsible for diversity, inclusion and engagement strategy. He also provided leadership in the recruitment and retention of faculty and graduate students from underrepresented minorities and guidance for diversity in curriculum development and programming.Other prior academic posts include serving as associate dean for administration and finance at Harvard College, Harvard University and special assistant to the president and provost at the University of Vermont, where he focused on strategic initiatives, change management and diversity. He also held a series of positions with increasing responsibility at New York University, culminating with his role as executive director of global operations.Gates also launched and led his own consulting firm, Criticality Management Consulting, where he advised corporate clients on a range of workforce issues.A native of Gary, Indiana, Gates received a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, a master’s degree from New York University and a Ph.D. from the University of London.