As work continues on improving data accessibility, integration, ethics and early warning indicators (see Jisc Effective Learning Analytics project (Jisc, n.d.)), we ask, how can learning analytics improve the educational experience for our students? The recent Higher Education Commissions report ‘From Bricks to Clicks’ (2016) includes recommendations to drive ‘Learning Analytics by improvement in learning and teaching processes and student engagement …’. Back in 1996, Chickering and Ehrman described Seven Principles of Good Practice to improve student outcomes. Principle number one is encouraging contacts between students and faculty. Whilst the current focus on retention (Jisc, n.d.) is natural, and a great pitch to senior management, Tinto recommends, “Stop talking to faculty about student retention and focus instead on the ways their actions can enhance students’ education” (Tinto, 2007, p. 9).
In this workshop we will explore how recent findings into learning analytics (e.g. Bakharia, et al, 2016; Rientes, et al., 2016) could be used in mainstream educational programmes to better support our educators with timely and relevant data on their learners. It will be framed around questions, such as:
- how do we foster a conversation with students which focuses on their prior learning and future development?
- what forms of educational data could be beneficial to educators on their students’ engagement and progress?
- how do we combine other qualitative data, such as feedback, etc?
- what tools do educators need to feed-forward?
- what is the role of existing systems, both within the control of the institution and without e.g. the VLE, e-portfolio systems, open learning platforms and social media?
- how do we cope with more work? Should we/can we help student help themselves with this data?
The workshop is not about particular software solutions but is instead a discussion of the possibilities of designing tools and practices to support educators and learners make sense of rich, personalised data, such as learning analytics. The facilitators are highly experienced in the field of Learning Analytics and are passionate about the area of student interventions and improving outcomes. The approach of the session will be to stimulate conversation in order to move our understanding of the possibilities of this still emerging field.
Aneesha Bakharia, Linda Corrin, Paula de Barba, Gregor Kennedy, Dragan Gašević, Raoul Mulder, David Williams, Shane Dawson, and Lori Lockyer. 2016. A conceptual framework linking learning design with learning analytics. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 329-338. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2883851.2883944.
Chickering, Arthur and Stephen C. Ehrmann (1996), Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever, AAHE Bulletin, October, pp. 3-6.
Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 2015. Fullfilling our potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/474227/BIS-15-623-fulfilling-our-potential-teaching-excellence-social-mobility-and-student-choice.pdf [Accessed May 17 2016]
Jisc, 2016. Business intelligence project. [online] Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/rd/projects/business-intelligence-project [Accessed 17 May 2016]
Jisc, n.d. Effective learning analytics. [online] Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/rd/projects/effective-learning-analytics [Accessed May 17 2016)
Pistilli, M.D., Arnold, K.E., & Bethune, M. (2012). Signals: Using academic analytics to promote student success. EDUCAUSE Review, July/Aug 2012.
Bart Rienties, Avinash Boroowa, Simon Cross, Lee Farrington-Flint, Christothea Herodotou, Lynda Prescott, Kevin Mayles, Tom Olney, Lisette Toetenel, and John Woodthorpe. 2016. Reviewing three case-studies of learning analytics interventions at the open university UK. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 534-535. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2883851.2883886
The Higher Education Commission , 2016. From Bricks to Clicks – The Potential of Data and Analytics in Higher Education [online] Available at: http://www.policyconnect.org.uk/hec/research/report-bricks-clicks-potential-data-and-analytics-higher-education [Accessed May 17 2016]
Tinto, V. (2007). Research and practice of student retention: What next? Journal of College Student Retention, 8(1), 1–19.