Analytics (Learning)

Learning Analytics draws on the practice of data mining in online environments that make use of big datasets to find meaningful patters on behaviour that they can then use to both shape and predict future interaction.  In terms of online learning environments Learning Analytics makes use of digital traces left by learners in order to improve teaching and learning as well as informing the development of online environments.

Analytics can also be used by students to track their own learning journey.  One US university (Purdue) uses a traffic light system which draws on activity logs to tell students whether things are going well ( green) whether there is a cause for concern ( amber) or if they are at risk (red). The system links to advice for students on what they can do to get themselves back on track.  

In the UK, OpenEssayist can be used by students to help them structure their essay. None of these tools replace teachers but do encourage students to be reflective and to take responsibility for their own learning.  They use a combination of data analysis, visualisation and pedagogy to inform the learning process.  

There are challenges around the use of Analytics. The focus cannot just be on those things that are easy to measure but on more nuanced combinations of factors. And, of course, there are ethical issues around the use of data and it has to be used in an informed way without compromising the identity and privacy of any individuals or groups involved.

See Reports and logs for more guidance on how you might use Analytics in your teaching at Goldsmiths.

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