What Is the First Thing That Comes to Your Mind When You Think of Learning Analytics

17th July 2020

We all are familiar with analysis of data which can be termed as the basic definition of analytics. Now learning analytics, in simple words, can be described as a vital tool to analyse a student’s learning course which can provide important pieces of data leading to the improvement of the teaching process.

In technical terms, a pattern-producing algorithm is being run to study the student’s past work, to note pressure points, rise in performance, and areas of significant change in an E-learning course.

This study of targeting of resources helps course designers, admins and instructors to tune up and improve course content.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Here data analysts play the most important role by developing a set of metrics by which to measure performance in order to translate data into concrete presentation. The measurements employed are known as Key Performance Indicators, which we find in reports and other analytics outputs. The exact KPIs you need will depend on the organizational objectives and data questionnaire. 

Common examples of KPIs are:-

  • Pass/Fail rates
  • Applications and acceptance rates
  • Percentage of learner satisfaction
  • Student/trainer ratio
  • Departments within budget
  • Freshmen retention

Analytics has a major role to play in Education and E-learning

The presence of analytics in education has been conspicuous from mid-2000s when Purdue University introduced an analytics-driven traffic light system, which gave educators an instant visual snapshot of student progress. We have also noticed the usage of basic analytics in exams like SAT for decades. Other test results were also analysed, if not qualitatively of the entire learning process, but through overall trends and summative snapshots of the learning process.

All organizations might not have solid analytics resources but are aware of integration of data as the characteristics of facilitators or instructors and the learners have undergone a sea change. Modern day learners prefer a personal learning environment with learning and delivery of content tailored as per their needs and likewise the new breed of trainers is also keen to use tools to analyse the learning objectives and styles of their learners.

Gap Analysis

Gap analysis is a useful tool and can play a part to bring analytics and education together along with review of the difference between performance and potential — either for an individual or an organization. In an educational setting the question remains to be asked is ‘Do your learners understand their objectives and how quickly do they actually meet them?’ Here comes learner analytics i.e. identifying a skill gap - to measure an individual’s ability to meet objectives. This can be achieved by developing a set of KPIs and running reports to find out whether the objectives are being met.

In E-learning business Analytics can assume a significant role. Analytics can help you develop your return on investment (ROI). Over the past decades it has been seen that the rise in analytics-based course design has coincided with a dip in the expenditure of the organizations on training their workforce.

Research shows that from 1979 to 1995, for example, the average number of hours an employee spent in formal training fell from 2.5 weeks to 11 hours. These days, four out of five employees are not being given on-the-job training at all. Simultaneously, higher education institutions are hiring more IT and tech employees more than ever analytics-related roles such as programmers and system analysts in demand and which comprise of nearly a quarter of new IT positions in 2018.

Organizations are investing in learner analytics to crete and refine educational courses and this gives developers’ clear insights into the minds of the learners — what they want, what teaching approaches they prefer and what is failing to grab the attention.

Let’s take a look at the varied Education Analytics :-

Analytics report on individual learner progress - Analytics across a classroom helps to identify at-risk learners giving the opportunity to intervene at an earlier stage and close widening attainment gaps within a group. Reports can also be aggregated to build a strong case in case of more serious performance review.

Learning Analytics for Trainers/Facilitators – These days it has become a common practice for trainers/facilitators to have their own analytics reports, built on their own research to improve their practice. Many institutions also support teachers with regular analytics updates in order to developing a training needs analysis, which provide a helpful diagnostic tool for identifying issues and modifying future programs.

Learning analytics for E-learning stakeholders - The storytelling power of data analytics places it as an efficacious way of selling your education program to a wide range of stakeholders. Isolated performance indicators — a single survey of student satisfaction, may fail to impress external people whereas a full analytics report, can provide a detailed picture of learning by choosing any number of data points for presentation.

Written By : Dr Sanjib Neil Chakraborty


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