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  1. Learning Analytics Project (LeAP)
Learning Enhancement and Development

Learning Analytics Project (LeAP)

Providing insights to maximise student potential at City

What is learning analytics?

Learning analytics is “the application of analytic techniques to analyse educational data, including data about learner and teacher activities, to identify patterns of behaviour and provide (frequent) actionable information to improve learning and learning-related activities.” (van Harmelen & Workman, 2012, p.5).

Learning Analytics Project at City

The Learning Analytics Project is a joint project between LEaD, IT and Student and Academic Services (S&AS). The project has implemented a Learning Analytics System that can pull together existing student data from multiple university systems into one central dashboard. Examples of these data sources could include VLE data, attendance data, assessment data, as well as data from other sources relating to teaching and learning.  By having student data on one central dashboard, staff can obtain a clearer picture of which students are not engaging with their learning.  Thereafter, those students can be provided with appropriate, tailored and timely support to help them succeed.

The Learning Analytics Project (LeAP) is focusing on how Learning Analytics and student interventions can be used to improve student retention and progression and more specifically to reduce drop-out rates for students. Given the current pandemic, it is important that we monitor our students’ engagement with learning resources and implement timely support. New and returning students will be faced with unprecedented challenges and Learning Analytics can help City to provide students with support to help them engage and succeed with their studies.

Project timescales and deliverables

LEaP Phase 1: 2016 – 2020 (previous phase)

From 2016 – 2020, the team delivered LeAP Phase 1, which aimed to understand how learning analytics could benefit City. Key stakeholders included LEaD, IT, MAfS & Schools.   This project involved taking part in the co-design of the Jisc Learning Analytics System (Data Explorer).  The team also ran consultations with staff and students on the use of learning analytics, trialled the Jisc Learning Analytics System and produced a list of recommendations for moving forward.

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LEaP Phase 2: 2020 - 2023 (current phase)

The current phase of this project is LeAP Phase 2. This will be a 3-year project from 2020-23.

Here are the goals:

  • Embed a core Learning Analytics Service City-wide with support and training provision, focusing on progression
  • Implement the Jisc Learning Analytics System (Data Explorer) and provide access for all relevant City staff
  • Create a code of practice and a policy (or amendments to existing policies) to support Learning Analytics
  • Make recommendations and improvements to the service, based on investigations into interventions, benefits and data sources
  • Support staff in the use of a Learning Analytics System to design and implement appropriate interventions to support student learning.

How are City supporting Learning Analytics?

Learning Analytics Service

The LeAP team are offering a Learning Analytics Service which provides support, guidance, and training for staff members using the Learning Analytics System. This support includes consultations with schools to establish how each school intends to use Learning Analytics to support students. This service will start with a basic offering and will be developed further, via an iterative process, over the course of the project.

Learning Analytics System

City staff will have access to a Learning Analytics System, which is a dashboard that allows staff to view student engagement data from multiple systems in one central location. The dashboard, which was created by Jisc, is called Data Explorer. Currently, Data Explorer contains Virtual Learning Environment (i.e. Moodle) data for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at City, University of London.

The engagement data is based on when a student has last logged into a Moodle module on and how many times they have clicked on different resources, e.g. lecture slides. These data feeds from Moodle are live and update within Data Explorer every minute. Data Explorer also incorporates assessment data from SITS.

Synergies with other institutional projects

LeAP has connections and interdependencies with other projects taking place across the University, in particular the Student Engagement and Attendance Monitoring (SEAM), Management Information (MI) and Student Attainment projects. Additionally LEaD, IT and Student & Academic Services are working together closely to ensure that requirements and objectives across all areas are included.

References

Van Harmelen, M. & Workman, D. (2012). CETIS Analytics Series: Analytics for Learning and Teaching. Available from Cetis Publications.

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