Learning analytics is the collection, analysis and reporting of large datasets relating to learners and their contexts. As more and more learning activities take place digitally, and as more and more data is gathered about learner progress, we have the opportunity to be more evidence-based in how we support learners.
One of the great opportunities afforded by learning analytics is to provide teachers with the ability to offer Increasingly personalised, meaningful, engaging learning experiences for students. To track their progress, get early intervention information as soon as possible, and to make informed decisions about strategies that are most likely to make a difference for that student. One of the key implications for schools is to ask is all our data ‘useful and used’? It’s no use storing enormous amounts of data if it’s the wrong data, or if nothing is ever done with it.
Another key implication centres around who uses the data: are learners or their families empowered to access and reflect on the progress they are making? Does your school have a parent portal, and how widely is this used?
This second implication provides schools with the opportunity to strengthen partnerships between school, the student and parents and whanau — what a great way to align the support offered to students at school and at home than to be completely transparent and invitational with the data that surrounds learning?
During Privacy Week 2015, CORE eLearning facilitator Andrew Cowie hosted a panel discussion covering some of the issues associated with data ownership, including the right to privacy, the right to access data collected about you, and the long term implications for schools, students and their families. Andrew’s two guests were Katrine Evans, Assistant Privacy Commissioner, and Sean Lyons, Chief Technology Officer at Netsafe.