Week 1: Trends and context: why learning analytics? Why now?
Date: January 23 - 29


This week is an introduction into the trends and context that are driving learning analytics. Parts of this week overlap with week 2 where we focus on defining analytics (in its many versions) in education.

We live in digital times. And times of information abundance and growing complexity. The conversations that used to evaporate are now increasingly digitized, waiting for a clever algorithm for analysis. The potential of analytics to increase employee efficiency, match the right people to the right tasks, and to improve access to help resources is tremendous. Businesses and governments have taken advantage of new data-focused tools and techniques to improve organizational efficiency and gain a competitive advantage.

When applied to learning - corporate, higher education, K-12 - analytics raise similar concerns about the interplay between the value between transparent data silos and privacy and ethics. This course will explore learning and knowledge analytics, including analytics methods and models, systemic application, potential data sources, the “soft/human/non-quantifiable” aspect of learning, as well as privacy and ethical considerations in deploying analytics.

In week one, we will focus mainly on building some familiarity with the concepts (and language) of learning and knowledge analytics. We define learning analytics as: “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs”.

Readings and videos:

Computing the world: http://www.youtube.com/user/OreillyMedia#p/c/2543D0F253DD85CE/40/-75odMfhLdA
4th paradigm of scientific discovery: http://videolectures.net/edm2011_stamper_edm/

Report: http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/MGI/Research/Technology_and_Innovation/Big_data_The_next_frontier_for_innovation


1. View the course video intro, create a blog, add it to the Daily (we aggregate all blog posts relevant to the course in a daily email): tutorials and information here:
2. Weekly discussion: Tues 1 pm, mountain time. We will meet here in Blackboard Collaborate: (all sessions will be recorded for those who are unable to attend)
https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2008104&password=M.13942243B0B58B854EE5D590716D09 See here for time zone conversions