Institutional members of ICDE that already have activities in Learning Analytics (LA), took part in the first meeting of the ICDE Cluster for Learning Analytics.
The first meeting took place at the ICDE Leadership Summit, 22-23 May in Nancy, France, in the afternoon 23 May.
A number of ICDE members are taking up Learning Analytics, and it is suggested that Learning Analytics has a great potential for improving quality outcomes of higher education. Members who have entered in to the field with a strategic approach and/or already have activities related to Learning Analytics are therefore invited to take part in the ICDE Cluster. The idea is to foster expertise, collaboration and leadership, and to promote good practice for other interested and newcomers to the field.
“Learning Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs”. (Wikipedia, February 2017). The 2016 Horizon Report describes learning analytics as "an educational application of web analytics aimed at learner profiling, a process of gathering and analyzing details of individual student interactions in online learning activities."
ICDE has previously undertaken some work which indicates the importance of Learning Analytics, ref. the ICDE Research and Innovation Taskforce - final report.
This was followed up in March 2016 when the first open call for insight papers on the topic Learning Analytics was distributed. The call resulted in two published papers presented at the ICDE Presidents’ Summit 2016 in Sydney. The papers Higher Education and the Revolution of Learning Analytics, written by Anne Boyer and Geoffray Bonnin and How do we start? State and Direction of Learning Analytics Adoption written by Dragan Gašević, Shane Dawson, Abelardo Pardo are both free and available to download from ICDE’s website.
The theme was also in the center for one of the most highly evaluated sessions during the ICDE Presidents’ Summit in Sydney, namely the “Learning Analytics Marketplace”, led by Professor Belinda Tynan, where members and participants shared their experiences on the topic by poster sessions.
During 2016 ICDE distributed a survey to members, asking for the interest of taking part in a Learning Analytics Cluster. Of 33 responses, almost 50 % claimed to already have activities related to Learning Analytics. Of those who did not have any activities, almost 60 % answered that they plan to utilize LA in the future. Nearly 80 % of the respondents were interested in taking part in an ICDE Cluster on Learning Analytics.
The interest in the field has been followed up in 2017 with the preparation of two main events related to Learning Analytics and Leadership: The ICDE Leadership Summit in Nancy 22-23 May, which will be arranged back to back with a Leadership Forum on Visionary Leadership in the digital Transformation 24 May in Paris (in cooperation with UNESCO and D- Transform).
This creates a good background for forming an ICDE cluster for Learning Analytics. The purpose would be to have those institutions that already have activities exchanging ideas, sharing practices and make suggestions for developing the area. The cluster is not a research and innovation cluster, but can relate to and stimulate research in the field. For researchers and innovation centers working on Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining, the Cluster would be an important knowledge base for the collection of cases and data from the praxis field.
Learning Analytics can be the base for achievements in several fields;
Adapted and personalized learning
Improved completion and retention rates
Improved student success
Quality learning in general
(Possibly) Better and more focused deployment and management of resources
However, Learning Analytics is not a quick fix, the concept itself requires investments in data, systems, competencies and people. A number of tasks and steps have to be taken to have the concept working. That said, Learning Analytics seems to be a knowledge field that at the moment has the most promising potential to address major burning issues in education, in particular for those that are into online, open and flexible education.
Key Benefits and Deliverables
An engaged and activeCluster fostering knowledge and best practice of Learning Analytics between Educators
A network and knowledge base for academics and research centers related to the field of Learning Analytics
A reference document for a global Code of Conduct related to ethics in Learning Analytics as input to ICDE’s quality work and our partner role to UNESCO
The proposed format of the initiative is as follows:
A virtual community and forum for participants to engage and learn from each other.
The Community should be led by one of the experienced forming participants of the Cluster.
Webinars by participants and invited speakers to present their knowledge and experiences to other participants and academics in the network.
Possible Face to Face meetings at ICDE Conferences and other events agreed between partners.
The Cluster should be established for a 2 years period from May 2017 to May 2019 and evaluated before furthers steps are taken.
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