Male Access and Success in Higher Education

In 2011, we wrote a short chapter for the then Higher Education Academy about one aspect of our HERE Project work: male student retention. It was probably far from ground-breaking, but it was quite important for helping us to think about some of the issues associated with student success. The data we looked at appeared …

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Using learning analytics in personal tutorials: breaking into students’ consciousness

The last post was about some of the psychological hurdles that we need to overcome in order for students to realise that they need to change and the one before about the importance for tutors of relationship building and setting short term goals. This short piece is about how the use of learning analytics data …

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Changing student behaviour: some psychological barriers

I've said this before, but one of the problems with learning analytics is that it's still seen as a fundamentally technological project, not a psychological or pedagogical one. This post is an attempt to try and describe why changing student behaviour is so difficult. I'm going to start from the position that the Clow (2012) …

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Personal Tutoring: strategies for changing student behaviour

Interview with Janette Alvarado-Cruz (@JanetteValezka) July 2019The interview explored issues of strategies for tutors advising students who appeared to be at risk of dropping out or failing to achieve their potential. These questions are core to the OfLA Erasmus+ Project: what do we do from the point where learning analytics (LA) have identified that a …

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Chaos theory from the perspective of the butterfly: learning analytics and change

In a recent discussion about how we help academics to use learning analytics, a very wise colleague made the point that we need to constantly remind them of the relationship between average engagement and success. This arose during a conversation about the accuracy of each individual alert raised. They can never be 100% accurate and …

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Learning from Learning Analytics: risky assumptions about the efficacy of feedback for learners

Presentation for the LALA Symposium: Learning Analytics for Feedback at Scale, Leuven, 1st July 2019 I've worked alongside very excellent colleagues at KU Leuven since 2015 on the ABLE and STELA Erasmus+ projects. I have really valued their opinions and expertise. So I was delighted to be invited by Tinne De Laet to present at a …

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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 …

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“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 …

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Diagnosing student ‘risk’: categorising learning analytics to prevent early withdrawal

Universities are awash with data about students that could function as early warning signs that a student may need help. These data sources range from the highly personal, for example tutors observing that a student appears to be having a bad day, to the highly systematised, for example automatic early warnings based on a metric …

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Big data/AI: examples of concerning practice unintended consequences

I'm not apocalyptic about the role of big data in society generally and education specifically, but I do feel strongly that we all have a responsibility to stand back and think about how we accept and use technology. The brilliant writer Yuval Noah Harari has written a great piece on the philosophical challenges of what …

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