Week 21 – Activity 5: Overview of learning analytics

Timing: 2 hours

  • Read the following paper carefully. It provides an overview of the development of learning analytics, including references to frequently cited work in the field.
  • Make a list in your learning journal or blog of the main points you would share with someone in your context, or in a context that you know well, who had asked for a brief introduction to learning analytics.


Lots of very important overview material here. Very good for the TMA and general references. Future references for a PhD are also given. 

Definitions in paper:

Learning Analytics: “Learning analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs.”

Edm: “concerned with developing methods for exploring the unique types of data that come from educational settings, using those methods to better understand students, and the settings which they learn in (www.educational datamining.org).”

Brief explanation of analytics:

Learning analytics encompasses variance parallel and sub-fields of analytics, such as the more business orientated academic analytics, and educational data mining (edm). The movement is fluid, encapsulating various aspects of each, and now spreading into the more specific areas of social learning analytics (nod to connectivism). This involves, and will likely continue to involve for the near future, the role of social networks and PLE’s in expanding the usefulness and personalisation of learning analytics.

This will see learning analytics move beyond merely gathering student data for their benefits, and into personalisation of learning content. This will include personalised assessment, and possibly feed into adaptive learning (my inclusion, not paper). This information is based on both student analytics, learning sciences, the information students share in response to their learning assessments, PLEs, and personal life goals.



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