Intimate conversations about designing learning analytics

Years ago, one of the most brilliant thinkers I know (@hetanshah) recommended a book "An intimate history of humanity", the scholar Theodore Zeldin. In a very elegant way it explores how different tribes (separated by class, gender, location etc.) can lack the imagination needed to really talk to one another. It's my default thinking space …

Continue reading Intimate conversations about designing learning analytics

“Can we improve student engagement through the use of learning analytics?” Dublin e-Learning Summer School (20th June 2019)

I had the pleasure of running a workshop at the 17th Dublin eLearning Summer School “Developing all learners: Big Data in Higher Education". My session followed on from some really interesting short sessions about different learning analytics practices. I love the constant state of experimentation we have in this field. My essential thesis is that …

Continue reading “Can we improve student engagement through the use of learning analytics?” Dublin e-Learning Summer School (20th June 2019)

Five questions about learning analytics ethics

In the first term of my first year, I skipped a seminar on DH Lawrence. My tutor, Dr Mara Kalnins, pulled me up at the start of the next seminar and politely expressed her disappointment. She also asked me to make up what I'd missed by reading about Carl Jung. I'm not sure that what …

Continue reading Five questions about learning analytics ethics

Excellence from Analytics: Panel Discussion at Digifest, 12th March 2019

I have just taken part in a panel discussion at the Jisc Digifest 2019 event. The session was called Excellence from Analytics. I  know that, as a panel, we all worried about whether we'd been informative (or excellent), but I found it really interesting to listen to the other panellists talk (perhaps not the point). …

Continue reading Excellence from Analytics: Panel Discussion at Digifest, 12th March 2019

Issues using data-based alerts in learning analytics

One of the benefits of learning analytics is the capacity to not just automatically analyse data, but also to automate some or all of the next steps. I'm primarily interested in learning analytics for student success, for me the automatic alert when a student is potentially at risk of failure is key. Whether red flags …

Continue reading Issues using data-based alerts in learning analytics

Submission to the All-Party Group on Data Ethics

In November 2018, the UK Parliamentary All Party Group on Data Ethics launched a call for evidence about the use of data and machine learning in four areas: Education Healthcare Autonomous vehicles Policing With the help of some excellent colleagues, I submitted a paper on behalf of the institution (Nottingham Trent University) outlining our great …

Continue reading Submission to the All-Party Group on Data Ethics

A modified learning analytics cycle (I really need to write more exciting titles)

I've spent the past week thinking (probably overthinking) about this. So I've written up a modified learning analytics cycle. Obviously it starts with Doug Clow's model as discussed in the last entry. However, I've added details about the institutional infrastructure and decision-making needed to actually enable learning analytics to happen. Each of the branching arms …

Continue reading A modified learning analytics cycle (I really need to write more exciting titles)

Learning Cycles & Feedback Loops

One of my first jobs after graduating was training students in transferrable skills. I read an enormous amount of training theory, text books on time management, systems-thinking, NLP, public-speaking etc. Certain keystone ideas stuck. One was of course David A Kolb's (1984) experiential learning cycle. I can remember explaining it by modelling the process of …

Continue reading Learning Cycles & Feedback Loops

Student Retention Research: A History Lesson

Okay the title (and the whole page actually) is a little passive aggressive, but I'm reading lots of retention literature at the moment and I'll be honest, I'm sick of reading "Student retention has been a concern for some time now". A couple of smart colleagues have pointed out that the language used has changed(*) …

Continue reading Student Retention Research: A History Lesson