Using Learning Analytics at Scale

On Monday the 12th of March Dr. Bart Rienties, Professor of Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology of the Open University UK. discussed the use of learning analytics on a large scale.

Across the globe many educational institutions are collecting vast amounts of small and big data about students and their learning behaviour, such as their class attendance, online activities, or assessment scores. As a result, the emerging field of Learning Analytics (LA) is exploring how data can be used to empower teachers and institutions to effectively support learners. In the recent Innovative Pedagogy Report (Ferguson et al., 2017) encourage researchers and practitioners to move towards a new form of learning analytics called student-led learning analytics, which enable learners to specify their own goals and ambitions. They also support learners to reach these goals. This is particularly helpful for individuals who have little time to spare for study. In this interactive session, based upon 6 years of experience with LA data and large-scale implementations amongst 200.000+ students at a range of contexts including the Open University UK, I will use an interactive format to discuss and debate three major questions: 1) To what extent is learning analytics the new holy grail of learning and teaching? 2) How can instructional design be optimised using the principles of learning analytics?; 3) With the introduction of student-led analytics, to what extent can learning analytics promote ‘personalisation’ or ‘generalisation’ for diverse populations of students?



Dr Bart Rienties

Professor of Learning Analytics, Open University UK

Dr Bart Rienties is Professor of Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK. He is programme director Learning Analytics within IET and head of Data Wranglers, whereby he leads of group of learning analytics academics who conduct evidence-based research and sense making of Big Data at the OU. As educational psychologist, he conducts multi-disciplinary research on work-based and collaborative learning environments and focuses on the role of social interaction in learning, which is published in leading academic journals and books. His primary research interests are focussed on Learning Analytics, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and the role of motivation in learning. Furthermore, Bart is interested in broader internationalisation aspects of higher education. He has successfully led a range of institutional/national/European projects and received a range of awards for his educational innovation projects. More info at https://iet.open.ac.uk/people/bart.rienties