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​Learning Analytics

Information Services together with DLTE and Planning & Business Intelligence are to investigate how data collated from a number of IT systems can build up a view of ‘learning engagement’ for individual students and cohorts within the University. This could include grade information and Moodle and Library systems access data, and has generally has two main applications: 

  • Progress of Learners: how retention and attainment could be improved and identifying intervention points.
  • Learning Context: enhancing the curriculum of the basis of data in areas such as uptake of learning content or the effectiveness of learning activities.

The key driver for this project is to facilitate an institutional understanding of Learning Analytics and how it can support our approaches to particular challenges, and this will be detailed in an end of project report. There are three stands to the project:


1. Stakeholder consultation strand


The aim of this strand is to grow our understanding of how Learning Analytics can benefit the University. A consultation and engagement programme with the academic community will be undertaken to build a picture of what data is currently be used to monitor learning, and how that information is used.


An internal event ‘Evidence for Enhancement: The role of Learning Analytic' was held on the 18 April 2018 and facilitated by a leading practitioner in the HE sector. 


Between October and November 2018 the University will host a series of live Learning Analytics demos and feedback workshops to develop and frame what Learning Analytics is and what benefits we can expect to gain from it within the context of our own challenges and priorities. More information about these events can be found here


This strand will also consult with ENSA representatives to ensure that the student voice has been captured, particularly in regard to what data is beneficial for students to monitor their own progress.  


2. Technical strand

This strand will establish a baseline of information, examining what data and reports we currently hold in our University systems including SITS, Cognos, Library Catalogue, Moodle, Office365, Edinburgh Napier app, UniDesk, and the online video server.


The University is participating in the JISC Pathfinder programme which provides a Learning Analytics platform for us to view our data in a series of dashboards, and which provides a student mobile app for viewing their own learning activity data and to set targets. We will be looking to work alongside academics to evaluate the usefulness of these dashboards and the extent to which they can inform supportive action.

By partnering with JISC we can define our data sets and structure these for inclusion in the JISC learning records warehouse for reporting. This stream will also look at other enhancements and amendments to our internal systems as appropriate, as well as reviewing the providers of other Learning Analytics platforms and making final recommencements on those.


3. Ethical and governance strand

Working with Governance this strand will establish a code of practice for learning analytics, setting out the responsibilities of the University to ensure that learning analytics is carried out responsibly, appropriately and effectively. It will review the ethical and privacy considerations and ensure compliance for the repurposing of data and sharing with third party provider.

For further information contact Stephen Bruce or Emma Farthing, Information Services.