What is Learning Analytics?

Learning analytics is education’s approach to “big data,” a science that was originally leveraged by businesses to analyze commercial activities, identify spending trends, and predict consumer behavior. The rise of the Internet drove research into big data and metrics as well as the proliferation of web tracking tools, enabling companies to build vast reserves of information they could study and leverage in their marketing campaigns. Education is embarking on a similar pursuit into data science with the aim of improving student retention and providing a high quality, personalized experience for learners. Learning analytics research uses data analysis to inform decisions made on every tier of the educational system. Whereas analysts in business use consumer data to target potential customers and personalize advertising, learning analytics leverages student data to build better pedagogies, target at-risk student populations, and assess whether programs designed to improve retention have been effective and should be sustained — outcomes for legislators and administrators that have profound impact. For educators and researchers, learning analytics has been crucial to gaining insights about student interaction with online texts and courseware. Students are beginning to experience the benefits of learning analytics as they engage with mobile and online platforms that track data to create responsive, personalized learning experiences.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Learning Analytics enables embedded assessment (cf Redecker and Johannessen, European Journal of Ed, 2013) - oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen Nov 2, 2013
  • From the point of view of educational manegement it is important that we make decisions based on facts and data, so I think that learning analytics is a promising way of getting nearer of the internal processes that are developing. - gabriel.rubio.navarro gabriel.rubio.navarro Nov 3, 2013
  • What is going to be of the utmost importance is what gets "measured". Who defines this? - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Nov 3, 2013

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Issues of data capture, privacy and what it takes to implement Learning Analytics in a Norwegian context should be highlighted - oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen Nov 2, 2013
  • Agree - particularly around the issues of privacy and data tracking - who has access to the data and for what purposes it is to be used for. As a student would I have a choice of opting out of the data collection? - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Nov 3, 2013
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on European schools education?

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • add your response here
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