Week 6: Tools, methods, and levels of learning analytics

Date: February 27 - March 4

Intro:

The tools and techniques of analytics are in a period of rapid development. Many of the tools are still single-functionality (such as SNAPP), while some are multi-functional (statistical tools like R), and a small number are beginning to develop into suites (see SAS offerings).

In terms of methods and techniques, analytics techniques are often drawn established fields. For example, social network analysis has a rich research base that dates back to the 1960's. These techniques are today being applied to digital networks with new tools such as SNAPP and Gephi. Similarly, discourse analysis has in the past been done manually (and has developed a strong base of methods/techniques). Today, discourse analysis can be enhanced through qualitative analysis tools or through visualizations such as IBM's ManyEyes. The development and refinement of natural language processing promises a new era of analysis around discourse (or chunk of text - from a whitepaper to novels). Social media analytics tools (Omniture, SAS, Radian6) analyze sentiment of consumers around brands or new products. Search engines can often anticipate or predict a flu outbreak before the health experts. And new projects mining global data patterns attempt to anticipate changes in human wellbeing, especially in the most vulnerable populations (see GlobalPulse).

By drawing on the tools and techniques from existing research fields, business intelligence, and data mining in general, learning analytics practitioners have a well-developed toolset at their disposal. This week we'll explore some of those tools.

Readings:



Please stop by this page:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bkZed7zcYTGfaoBixYzm0-OTPywqCYJWZAWSEXgoEcc/edit and add your favorite tools and techniques


Activities this week:

Two live sessions are scheduled this week:

1. A discussion with Shane Dawson on social network analysis using SNAPP on Tues, Feb 28 at 1 pm Mountain time (http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20120221T13&p1=80 to different timezones). The session will be held here in Blackboard Collaborate: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2008104&password=M.13942243B0B58B854EE5D590716D09

2. A discussion with Gardner Campbell on analytics, ethics, and the human side of learning on Thurs, Mar 1 at 1 pm Mountain time (
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20120301T13&p1=80 to different time zones).
The session will be held here in Blackboard Collaborate: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2008104&password=M.13942243B0B58B854EE5D590716D09