Learning analytics is a relatively new but growing field, and investigations are ongoing into what can and should be learned from course and program data — as well as the most effective ways of conveying that data.
The Learning Analytics Project was launched to provide opportunities to build capacity in learning analytics through tool pilots and ongoing community engagement and to facilitate an exploration of the ethical and privacy considerations that UBC needs to address.
What is learning analytics?
Learning Analytics is a broad term that spans a wide range of activities. The Learning Analytics Project uses the working definition from the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR):
Learning Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, with the goal of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which learning occurs.
At UBC, learning analytics is aimed at supporting teaching, learning, and the student experience.
Who can learning analytics benefit?
Learner and course data can empower students, instructors, advisors, and faculties in variety of ways, providing opportunities to support:
- Continuous improvement in the learning environment.
- Earlier identification of students at risk of failure, supporting targeted and timely interventions.
- Effective measurement of the value of investments in teaching and learning transformations.
- Evidence to inform the planning of programs, courses, and infrastructure.
- Data that can inform the evaluation of instructional materials, courses, and programs.
- Efficient and timely data-informed decision making.
For example, learning analytics tools can help students stay on task by calculating and displaying the remaining percentage of readings and assignments they have left to complete for the week. Instructors and researchers can use learning analytics to assess of effectiveness of their course design or particular learning interventions. Faculties and departments may be interested in how insights from learning analytics can help them refine their approaches to program planning and reporting.