What are Learning Analytics?
Learning analytics are the collection and reporting of data focused on learning outcomes and the methods of which learning takes place. This can be simple metrics that test comprehension of course material by students to deep studies that test learning techniques and tools implemented in the classroom. It is a combination of many fields of study – from statistics to data analytics, business intelligence, operational intelligence, data mining, etc. The end goal is to gain insight into how to improve learning outcomes for everyone.
What are the benefits of Learning Analytics?
In short, learning analytics better helps us to understand the process of learning; not relying on views possibly influenced by unconscious bias or personal perspectives, but on hard data. When learning analytics are utilized for future teaching and learning we are likely to see better outcomes as a result, such as increased student retention and higher job placement rates after graduation.
Ways Instructors can utilize analytics
Teachers are better able to predict student progress by identifying students who are at risk for failing or dropping out. Instructors are also able to provide an intervention to struggling students before they drop out of a program or course. Instructors are also able to personalize learning to students with insight into their teaching methods.
Administrators and management are able to put metrics to the learning taking place in their school. Instead of just vaguely classifying how well students in their school are learning, stakeholders can instead rely on a dashboard that provides a visual representation of this data to better support their educational claims to the external ecosystem.
How would this impact students?
Relying on learning analytics helps teachers, administrators, and management make informed decisions in terms of the learning and teaching techniques they are implementing at their educational institutions. Applying data gleaned from learning analytics ensures that they are making evidence-based decisions that have a positive impact on students.
In turn, these decisions help shape student progress. Using reliable data from reports, instructors can achieve optimal learning outcomes for different classes of students. This means that they are experiencing data-driven teaching with proven methodologies that are tested and retested on a continual basis for their efficacy and impact.