Avoiding the learning analytics fad: Forgotten insights and example applications

Below you will find the presentation slides and related resources for a talk given at the “Inaugural University Analaytics Forum” on September 27, 2013.


The presentation is an attempt to develop some insights/guidelines/frameworks for guiding the analysis and design of learning analytics applications in an attempt to increase the likelihood of these applications being integrated into the process of learning and teaching and consequently improve learning and teaching.

Related resources include

  • A short paper introducing the IRAC framework.

    The presentation below uses the IRAC framework to analyse existing learning analytics applications in order to derive some guidelines for analysing learning analytics applications.

  • Moving beyond a fashion another presentation (just slides) which covers the process perspective of this question.

    There is also a blog post that expands on this earlier presentation.

Note: The big blue square on the first slide in the presentation is for a PollEverywhere app which doesn’t come across when uploading to Slideshare.



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Arnott, D., & Pervan, G. (2005). A critical analysis of decision support systems research. Journal of Information Technology, 20(2), 67–87. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jit.2000035

Beer, C., Jones, D., & Clark, K. (2009). The indicators project identifying effective learning, adoption, activity, grades and external factors. In Same places, different spaces. Proceedings ascilite Auckland 2009 (pp. 60–70). Auckland, New Zealand.

Carroll, J. M., Kellog, W. A., & Rosson, M. B. (1991). The Task-Artifact Cycle. In John Millar Carroll (Ed.), Designing Interaction: Psychology at the Human-Computer Interface (pp. 74–102). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Clow, D. (2012). The learning analytics cycle. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge – LAK  Õ12, 134–138. doi:10.1145/2330601.2330636

Clow, D. (2013). An overview of learning analytics. Teaching in Higher Education, (August), 1–13. doi:10.1080/13562517.2013.827653

Dawson, S., Bakharia, A., Lockyer, L., & Heathcote, E. (2011). ÒSeeingÓ networks: visualising and evaluating student learning networks Final Report 2011. Main. Canberra.

Dyckhoff, a. L., Lukarov, V., Muslim, A., Chatti, M. a., & Schroeder, U. (2013). Supporting action research with learning analytics. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge – LAK  Õ13 (pp. 220–229). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press. doi:10.1145/2460296.2460340

Elias, T. (2011). Learning Analytics: Definitions, Processes and Potential. Learning.

Essa, A., & Ayad, H. (2012). Student success system: risk analytics and data visualization using ensembles of predictive models. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge – LAK  Õ12 (pp. 2–5). Vancouver: ACM Press.

Leony, D., Pardo, A., Valentõn, L. de la F., Quinones, I., & Kloos, C. D. (2012). Learning analytics in the LMS: Using browser extensions to embed visualizations into a Learning Management System. In R. Vatrapu, W. Halb, & S. Bull (Eds.), TaPTA. Saarbrucken: CEUR-WS.org.

Lockyer, L., Heathcote, E., & Dawson, S. (2013). Informing Pedagogical Action: Aligning Learning Analytics With Learning Design. American Behavioral Scientist, XX(X), 1–21. doi:10.1177/0002764213479367

Norman, D. A. (1993). Things that make us smart: defending human attributes in the age of the machine. Cambridge, Mass: Perseus. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

Ramamurthy, K., Sen, A., & Sinha, A. P. (2008). Data warehousing infusion and organizational effectiveness. Systems, Man and É, 38(4), 976–994. doi:10.1109/TSMCA.2008.923032

Shum, S. B., & Ferguson, R. (2012). Social Learning Analytics. Educational Technology & Society, 15(3), 3–26.

Siemens, G. (2013). Learning Analytics: The Emergence of a Discipline. American Behavioral Scientist, (August). doi:10.1177/0002764213498851

Suthers, D., & Verbert, K. (2013). Learning analytics as a middle space. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge – LAK  Õ13 (pp. 2–5).

Villachica, S., Stone, D., & Endicott, J. (2006). Performance Suport Systems. In J. Pershing (Ed.), Handbook of Human Performance Technology (Third Edit., pp. 539–566). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.


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