Timing: 4 hours
- Visit the Wikipedia page on learning analytics and note the definition or definitions that currently appear on the page. You may find that the introduction gives a different definition from those that appear in later sections.
- Now select the ‘View history’ tab at the top of the Wikipedia page. You will be offered the opportunity to compare the current version with any of the past versions, dating back to 2010.
- Look at three or four versions of the page over time, noting any different definitions that appear and, if possible, the origins of those definitions. If you speak a language other than English, you may also find it interesting to look at definitions that appear in the Wikipedia for that language – you can access these via the site’s list of Wikipedias.
- In your learning journal or blog – or with others in OU Live – reflect on the differences and similarities between the definitions. Which, if any, elements remain constant?
- Now read:
- Long and Siemens (2011), Penetrating the fog.
- Cooper (2012), What is analytics? Definition and essential characteristics
Pay particular attention to the definitions of learning analytics, and to the ways in which Long and Siemens differentiate learning analytics from academic analytics.
- Develop your own definition of learning analytics and share this in the discussion forum.
- Read the other definitions that are shared there and comment on one or two of them. In the light of this activity, do you feel the need to revise your definition? If so, note your revised definition of learning analytics in your learning journal or blog.
During this block we will sometimes ask you to return to the definition you have recorded at this point. If you find that your definition is no longer satisfactory when you revisit it, take the opportunity to update it.
Wikipedia: Learning analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs
Cooper: Analytics is the process of developing actionable insights through problem definition and the application of statistical models and analysis against existing and/or simulated future data.
Mine: Learning analytics concerns the process of measuring and collecting learning data from a variety of student activity, with the aim of using said data to improve and/or alter the student learning process.
Note: My definition has been left purposefully open, in order to allow for variations in time frame of data collection, and the outcome of such collection and analysis.