This month I had the privilege of presenting at Stella Lee's Futures of Learning meetup group alongside Alec Balasescu. The theme for the session was "Learning Analytics". As an instructor at a web development bootcamp, I work closely with the education team in gathering and analyzing performance data to improve our curriculum and the general student experience. Here are the rough notes that I used for my presentation. Soon I'll compile these notes into a nicely formatted blog post!
Learning analytics has the potential to enable educators and learning designers to gain insights of their learner's needs and to use that understanding to improve the learning experience and provide intervention. Yet collection of student data and to use said data to predict their performance and influence their learning behaviors come with a number of ethical challenges, include learner privacy, interpretation of data, assumptions and bias in the type of data one collects, anonymization of data, and informed consent.
What does learning analytics mean to me?
What are some of the positives?
What are some of the issues?
Things to keep in mind
Highlight some resources for further reading, and bring examples from literature
Quote: "As education becomes increasingly scaled and asynchronous, analytics becomes more important as a tool in support of high-quality teaching and learning practices that are responsive to meet the needs of students in a timely manner" - Timothy Harfield, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Blackboard Analytics (https://elearnmagazine.com/learning-analytics-possibilities/)
Who should be granted access to seeing student performance data?
Where should data be stored?
Presenting at the meetup was a fantastic experience, and I hope to get to do something like that again soon. I know the notes above are a bit incoherent, but I'll compile them into something legible in a while.
I wish I had made more time to put an emphasis on how I think learning analytics can put us at risk of putting students into "buckets" or profiles, and the issues that arise out of that... but I still need to sort those thoughts out a little more before I'm comfortable putting it out there.