Learning Analytics Project (LeAP)
Providing actionable 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.” (Harmelen & Workman, 2012, p.5).
Learning analytics at City
The Learning Analytics Project (LeAP) at City aims to maximise the potential of all our students, improving their educational experience, whilst supporting the institution’s education performance indicators relating to progression and attainment.
The University already holds a large amount of data about students, which is essential in evidencing learning, reporting and providing support when needed. Learning Enhancement and Development (LEaD), Information Technology (IT) and Student and Academic Services are working on the implementation of a Learning Analytics system, which will have the capability to pull together data from a number of different sources to provide students and University staff with a clearer picture of engagement with educational activities across modules and programmes. It will use predictive models based on historical data from systems such as the virtual learning environment (Moodle) and the student record system (SITS) to provide an indication of student attainment.
How might this benefit students’ learning?
Module leaders and personal tutors will be provided with an overview of student engagement, pulled together from data such as assessment scores and Moodle logins, so they can provide the right support when it's needed. This might include directing students to central support services, or to particular resources. Longer-term, the aim is to provide students with information about their own learning and progress, enabling them to make beneficial choices about studying.
How might this benefit City as an institution?
LeAP will support City’s strategic priorities and Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) relating to student progression by enabling a more informed approach to support. There is also potential to contribute to the KPIs relating to the student experience and student employability. It will also provide insights into student engagement through better provision of reporting information. This evidence can then be used to improve the student educational experience.
Project timescales and deliverables
Over the next three years, LeAP aims to pilot and implement third-party systems that will bring together dispersed data and provide tools for analysis in order to produce insights and information. During the 2016/17 academic year (Year 1) there will be initial consultation events with staff and student stakeholders, a review of data held by the institution and a technology proof of concept. The outcomes from these areas will be used to answer a series of questions about the potential value and impact of learning analytics at City and ensure that implementation addresses all stakeholder requirements.
Figure 1: LeAP deliverables mapped across the stages of Learning Analytics
Synergies with other institutional projects
LeAP has connections and interdependencies with other projects taking place across the University, in particular Modernising Administration for Students (MAfS). LEaD, IT and Student & Academic Services are working together closely to ensure that requirements and objectives across all areas are included.