Among the questions these learning analytics can potentially answer is: How can the online course instructor improve his or her instructional approach and better support students?
Most learning analytics systems center on online learning scenarios, where software can collect the data automatically. Using activities that are part of the online learning process — like logins, assignment completion, quiz scores and so on — learning analytics seeks to analyze the “digital breadcrumbs” that students leave as they interact with the online learning environment (and potentially other online spaces, too, such as Facebook).
In the emerging research area of learning analytics, technologists and thought leaders are envisioning ways to reveal how engaged students are, how much they’re learning, and how to enhance the lessons going forward.
High school students would benefit greatly from the option to take the SAT or ACT in the summer, versus during the higher-stress school year. Kids could finish their academic year, focus on test prep for part of the summer, and take the high-stakes exam in August. Why isn’t this an option?
In a broader context, learning analytics is envisioned as a tool for improving education in nearly any environment. One new company, Junyo, was created to “make learning data actionable and fun to improve each student’s achievement.”