Evidence of the month: Learning Analytics in Higher Education

Type: Evidence | Proposition: A: Learning | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

Evidence of the month: April 2016

This report documents the emerging uses of learning analytics in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. Through a series of 11 case studies, it presents an overview of the evidence currently available of the impact that analytics are having on teaching and learning – and highlights some of the opportunities for the UK higher education sector.

The report was commissioned by Jisc, which is currently working with 50 universities in the UK to set up a national learning analytics service for higher and further education.

Although learning analytics are still at a relatively early stage of development, this report finds that there is convincing evidence from early adopters that they will help to improve outcomes.

The case studies presented in the report provide a snapshot of some of the most prominent institution-level learning analytics initiatives worldwide. Together they provide evidence that:

  • researchers have demonstrated the validity of the predictive models used by learning analytics systems
  • interventions carried out with students have been effective
  • there are other benefits to taking a more data-driven approach to higher education provision

Extrapolating from current practice, in the UK and internationally, the authors anticipate that learning analytics could make significant contributions:

  • As a tool for quality assurance and quality improvement
  • As a tool for boosting retention rates
  • As a tool for assessing and acting upon differential outcomes among the student population
  • As an enabler for the development and introduction of adaptive learning

The full case studies, with references, are available at http://bit.ly/1WczdOn

Citation: Sclater, N., Peasgood, A. & Mullan, J. (2016). Learning Analytics in Higher Education: A Review of UK and International Practice. Jisc, Bristol. | Url: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/sites/default/files/learning-analytics-in-he-v2_0.pdf