What are Learning Analytics?


Learning analytics is an educational application of web analytics, a science that is commonly used by businesses to analyze commercial activities, identify spending trends, and predict consumer behavior. Education is embarking on a similar pursuit into data science with the aim of learner profiling, a process of gathering and analyzing large amounts of detail about individual student interactions in online learning activities. The goal is to build better pedagogies, empower students to take an active part in their learning, target at-risk student populations, and assess factors affecting completion and student success. For learners, educators, and researchers, learning analytics is already starting to provide crucial insights into student progress and interaction with online texts, courseware, and learning environments used to deliver instruction. 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?

  • At our school, we want to implement Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students...based on quantitative as well as qualitative data. I've worked at other schools that claim to produce IEPs, but they tend to be based on anecdotal evidence at best. Trouble is that when you bring up Learning Analytics, administrators tend to think it's going to bust the budget. But we have PowerSchool, and we're looking into ways to use it, especially now that they're augmenting their already impressive LA capabilities with other tools, like IntelliBoard: http://www.moodlenews.com/2016/intelliboard-strikes-partnership-with-pearsons-powerschool/ - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 4, 2016
  • David are you talking about special education IEPs or more like an indivualized learning path for all students? When I think of IEPs, I think of binding legal documents. - cbsteighner cbsteighner Apr 9, 2016 Definitely not legal documents! Just plans. ;) - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 26, 2016
  • add your response here
  • https://www.edsurge.com/news/2014-10-06-diving-into-data-analytics-tools-in-k-12- jmorrison jmorrison Apr 13, 2016
  • Learning Analytics are the foundation of a personalized learning platform and strategy. Without the Analytics, you end up with a Summerhill (http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/) utopia of personal liberty, not personalized learning. Without digressing into the merit (or lack thereof) of a design not only Student Centered but entirely Student Directed, the relevance of Analytics is central to the analysis of student understanding and performance. The challenge is another debate on the relevance of the current means and methods of assessing the student's understanding and performance. - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 27, 2016
  • I would add data is only useful if those who design how it is displayed (e.g., designing the data reports within the data system in which the learning analytics are used) follow research-based best practices such as Over-the-Counter Data Standards.
    Much of the resistance to learning analytics would subside if data was made easier to understand and use appropriately. Right now, MOST inferences educators draw when using data are flawed (see https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-06-28-when-data-systems-actively-support-data-analysis). MOST data systems do not include adequate support for interpreting data even though they have the ability (https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-06-28-when-data-systems-actively-support-data-analysis). Conversely, when learning analytics follow Over-the-Counter Data (OTCD) Standards (e.g., best display practices), educators’ data analysis accuracy can be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled depending on the standards employed (not to mention the gains from following all the standards). See www.overthecounterdata.com/s/OTCDStandards.pdf for more information. We need to talk not only about whether learning analytics are viable, but also about how they can be most viable. - drjrankin drjrankin Apr 27, 2016
  • Issues on selection and quality of data are stlll to be solved, but once that is done potential of learning analytics with regard to personalisation and rapid intervention should be unleashed.- oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen May 1, 2016

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

  • Using School Information Systems such as PowerSchool, since this is what most schools will start with if they want to do LA. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 4, 2016
  • The connection between Learning Analytics, the SIS, and the LMS. All three need to work in concert.- mike.jamerson mike.jamerson Apr 17, 2016 I agree 100% - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 27, 2016
  • I agree - it is the integration of LA, SIS, LMS, and other sources of student and learning data that have tremendous potential to impact learning. - maria maria Apr 22, 2016 I agree also but would include RtI data. - spaul6414 spaul6414 Apr 30, 2016Sandra Paul
  • Perhaps its only terminology or semantics, but "Big Data" and "Data Mining" may apply within this category. Perhaps they are sequential, Platform-Big Data-Data Mining - Learning (Data) Analytics, but I believe they are all part of the same educational system. - jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 27, 2016
  • I would add something like this:
    Fundamental to learning analytics’ success is following research-based best practices for data presentation in order to facilitate accurate and easy understanding of the data’s implications. - drjrankin drjrankin Apr 27, 2016
  • Seen from a Scandinavian point of view, there is a discussion about whether learning analytics should be a public responsibilitiy alone, and what the role of industry should be - oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen May 1, 2016

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • As mentioned, I think this will enable the creation and maintenance of truly customized...and useful...IEPs. If PowerSchool, e.g., gets this going, LA could be on the 1-2 year horizon soon. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 4, 2016
  • If you added LA to Google Classroom or Microsoft's new Classrooms, they could become powerful tools for visible learning for teachers. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-04-14-microsoft-joins-the-club-with-classroom-app-and-office-365-education-updates - maria maria Apr 22, 2016
  • the last Sentence of the description, create personalized learning experiences.- jmorrison jmorrison Apr 8, 2016 I agree! - spaul6414 spaul6414 Apr 30, 2016Sandra Paul
  • The biggest impact on teaching and learning is the ability gain the depth of knowledge from student performance data to better understand their individual learning process and take appropriate actions to improve the student's performance. In addition, with the right type of data at a classroom level, appropriate actions can be taken to improve the quality of course delivery. Furthermore, by extracting this data from an even higher level, the data can inform decisions regarding curriculum reform and overall education transformation.- jon.k.price jon.k.price Apr 27, 2016
  • add your response here
  • Right now, most inferences educators draw when using data are flawed (see https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-06-28-when-data-systems-actively-support-data-analysis). However, when learning analytics follow Over-the-Counter Data (OTCD) Standards (e.g., best display practices), educators’ data analysis accuracy can be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled depending on the standards employed (not to mention the gains from following all the standards). See www.overthecounterdata.com/s/OTCDStandards.pdf for more information. - drjrankin drjrankin Apr 27, 2016

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


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