A Strategy for Incorporating Learning Analytics into the Design and Evaluation of a K–12 Science Curriculum

Type: Evidence | Proposition: C: Uptake | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

This paper discusses a scalable approach for integrating learning analytics into an online K–12 science curriculum. A description of the curriculum and the underlying pedagogical framework is followed by a discussion of the challenges to be tackled as part of this integration. The paper includes examples of data visualization based on teacher usage data, along with a methodology for examining an inquiry‐based science programme. The paper uses data from a medium‐sized school district, comprising 53 schools, 1,026 teachers, and nearly one‐third of a million curriculum visits during the 2012–2013 school year. On their own, learning analytics data paint an incomplete picture of what teachers do in their classrooms with the curriculum. Surveys, interviews, and classroom observation can be used to contextualize this data. There are several hurdles that must be overcome to ensure that new data collection and analysis tools fulfill their promise. Schools and districts must address the gap in access to technology. While some schools have achieved one‐to‐one computing, most schools are not even close to this goal, and this has profound implications for their ability to collect reliable analytics data. Conversations with and observations of teachers reveal that teachers and students often share accounts, and that students are limited in the activities they can complete online. This means that analytics data may not prove to be reliable.

Citation: Monroy, Carols, Snodgrass Rangel, Virginia, & Whitaker, Reid. (2014). A strategy for incorporating learning analytics into the design and evaluation of a K-12 science curriculum. Journal of Learning Analytics, 1(2), 94-125. | Url: http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/JLA/issue/archive