The usefulness of learning analytics in supporting applied research and innovation in higher education

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The Universitat Aberta de Catalunya (UOC), ICDE member, made a presentation on learning analytics at the European University Association Annual Conference that took place 6- 8 April in Galway, Ireland. Julià Minguillón, professor at the UOC's Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications and member of the LAIKA e-learning research group, explained the usefulness of learning analytics in supporting applied research and innovation in higher education.

Minguillón carried out this study together with Francesc Santanach and Christine Appel, members of the UOC's eLearn Center, which has developed a system to provide all of the UOC's e-learning teaching and research staff with the activity data generated within the Virtual Campus.

The presentation by the UOC professors is one of the seven selected from among all the presentation proposals submitted by European universities.

You can download the presentation here

Data interpretation improves learning

The research by Minguillón, Santanach and Appel explores the collection, measuring and analysis of the data referring to students and their interactions, and how these help to improve the learning environment and process, as well as optimizing the management, finances and infrastructure of universities. However, according to the UOC researchers, the analysis of these data is often difficult because the virtual environments of universities include many technological tools and systems and these cannot always share data, may duplicate it, fragment it, or may use non-standard languages.

The EUA conference was also attended by the Vice President for Strategic Planning and Research, Marta Aymerich, who forms part of the EUA Expert Group on Open Science/Science 2.0 and who represents the UOC at the EUA General Assembly.