This Week in Learning Analytics (September 26 – October 3, 2014)

Vendor floor from the 2014 EDUCAUSE conference in Orlando, FL
Vendor floor from the 2014 EDUCAUSE conference in Orlando, FL

Latest News

3 October 2014
Carnegie Mellon Leads New NSF Project Mining Educational Data To Improve Learning
Carnegie Mellon University will lead a five-year, $5 million early implementation project sponsored by the National Science Foundation to improve educational outcomes and advance the science of learning by creating a large, distributed infrastructure called LearnSphere that will securely store data on how students learn. [Read more]

1 October 2014
At Tech Trade Show, a Push to Give Colleges Better ‘Digital Intelligence’
Carnegie Mellon University will lead a five-year, $5 million early implementation project sponsored by the National Science Foundation to improve educational outcomes and advance the science of learning by creating a large, distributed infrastructure called LearnSphere that will securely store data on how students learn. [Read more]

30 September 2014
Echo360 Announces Active Learning Platform to Help Colleges and Universities Improve Learning Outcomes
The Active Learning Platform helps instructors teach more effectively with real-time analytics on student engagement, comprehension and study habits. Instructors can use the data to identify at-risk students and help improve individual student performance. Institutions can use aggregated data to help increase retention and graduation rates. Students use the Active Learning Platform to confidently master course material with 24/7 access to content and personalized study guides. [Read more]

30 September 2014
UW-Madison joins consortium to improve digital teaching and learning
The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced today that it is joining Unizin, a consortium of like-minded universities that are developing a common set of improved digital tools for teaching and learning. [Read more]

Latest Blogs

Recent Publications

Examining the Necessary Condition for Engagement in an Online Learning Environment Based on Learning Analytics Approach: The Role of the Instructor
Jing Ma, Xibin Han, Juan Yang, Jiangang Cheng

This study analyzes the impact of instructor on student engagement using learning analytics approach by tracking one university’s log data of teaching and learning activities in a web-based learning platform. Based on the tracking data and theoretical analysis, this study builds a teaching and learning interaction activity model to show how the instructor’s course preparation and assistance activities affect different dimensions of student engagement activities and the relationship between these activities. The results reveal that instructor’s course preparation is significantly positively related to students’ viewing activities, while instructor’s guidance and assistance has significant impact on students’ completing learning tasks. The study also indicates that students’ viewing activities have a direct positive influence on their completing learning tasks activities. Students’ completing learning tasks exert direct positive influence on their interaction for learning, while their viewing activities have indirect impact on their interaction activities.

Questionnaire for the assessment of factors related to university degree choice in Spanish public system: A psychometric study
Maribel Peróa, Pedro Pablo Sorianob, Roberto Capillac, Joan Guàrdia i Olmosa, Antonio Hervás

Universities are interested in attracting students, but they do not usually have data relating to students’ intentions. Furthermore, both general and subjective factors are taken into account by students when choosing a degree and a university. This paper presents a psychometric study of a questionnaire which aims to assess variables relating the aspects involved in the selection process and accessing the Spanish university system. This questionnaire considers six factors: Consideration of the University; Perceived Usefulness; Social Impact; Vocational Aspects; Influence of Surroundings and Geographic Location. The item analysis (discrimination index) reduced the questionnaire to 25 items, and the reliability and validity of this final questionnaire was analyzed using a sample of 1532 students from eight Spanish universities. The results showed that the reliability as internal consistency of the six factors was high; the construct validity showed a structure of six first order factors clustered in two second order factors and finally, there was high discriminant validity between groups defined by variables such as gender or academic area. Applying predictive analytics to the results of this questionnaire will then enable specific recruiting policies to be applied, which target the type of students that universities are looking for, while reducing costs.

The Next Step for Learning Analytics
Jinan Fiaidhi

Use of learning analytics in real-world educational applications is growing as academic institutions realize its potential, especially in dealing with the exponential growth of unstructured data. Adding text analytics to learning analytics applications is particularly appealing, because most of the unstructured data dealt with in academia involves text. This article discusses the importance of using textual analytics within the paradigm of learning analytics.

Calls for Papers / Participation

First International Workshop on Educational Knowledge Management (EKM 2014) Linköping | 24 November 2014 (SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 30 September 2014)

5th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY) | 16-20 March 2015 (SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 14 October 2014)

ALASI 2014: Australian Learning Analytics Summer Institute University of Technology Sydney (Sydney, AU) | 20-21 Nov 2014 (APPLICATION DEADLINE: 17 October 2014)

NEW! Learning at Scale 2015 Vancouver, BC (Canada) | 14 – 15 March 2015 (SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 22 October 2014)

2015 Southeast Educational Data Symposium (SEEDS) Emory University (Atlanta, GA) | 20 Feb 2015 (APPLICATION DEADLINE: 14 November 2014)

NEW! 11th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative
Learning: “Exploring the material conditions of learning: Opportunities and
challenges for CSCL”
University of Gothenburg, Sweden | 7 – 11 June 2015 (SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 17 November 2014)

Upcoming Global Events

20 October 2014
Data, Analytics and Learning: An introduction to the logic and methods of analysis of data to improve teaching and learning

University of Texas Arlington | EdX

Employment Opportunities

NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education,and Human Developments Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes (USA)
12-month postdoctoral position – available for a qualified and creative individual with interests in postsecondary assessment, learning analytics, data management, and institutional research.The Postdoctoral Fellow will be responsible for promoting the use of institutional data sources and data systems for the purpose of developing institutional assessment tools that can inform decision making and contribute to institutional improvement across New York University (NYU). DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: Open Until Filled

NEW! Junyo Learning Analytics (Palo Alto, California)
Data Scientist – You are responsible for analyzing student learning data to provide insights, recommendations, and dashboards for students, teachers and schools. Your skills include exploratory, pattern-discovery analysis and development of robust reports that make complex data actionable and easy to understand. You know how to find or build the tools you need to be effective, and are fluent with your analysis toolset of choice. Your understanding of statistics is strong, you are very comfortable with machine learning techniques, and you know how to interpret results and determine where they are valid. You want to make a positive impact on the world, and are excited to use data analysis to improve education in classrooms across the country and around the world.DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: Open Until Filled

Boise State University (USA)
Report Developer – Drawing on both technical and analytical competencies, the Report Developer for Academic Analytics in the Office of Institutional Research will collaborate with the IR staff, data consumers, and colleagues in OIT/Business Intelligence and Reporting Services to determine requirements, design solutions, and model data. The Report Developer will perform user and data-driven research, review and verify data, and develop end-user reports. She/he will develop a broad body of data reports and conduct analytic work, with a particular focus on academic analytics, ensuring integrity, timeliness, and appropriate presentation. The Report Developer will be expected to develop collegial working relationships within the unit and across campus units; continually hone her/his technical, analytical, and problem solving skills; and participate in committees and other workgroups as assigned.DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 6 October 2014

Fanshawe College (Canada)
Learning Analytics Technologist – Under the direction of the Senior Manager, Learning Systems Services, the incumbent is responsible for the planning, implementation and support for the technical and functional aspects of the learning analytics infrastructure (built on the Desire2Learn Insights platform). The incumbent will consult with key stakeholders to determine, document and refine the type of learning analytics and reports required. Design, develop and create analytical reports, data visualizations, predictive models and dashboards based on gathered user requirements. Develop ad hoc and specialized reports as required and engage with academic staff to encourage the use of analytics tools to support teaching and learning. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 9 October 2014

Delft Extension School (The Netherlands)
Researcher Learning Analytics – We are looking for a researcher (PhD or Postdoc level), whose research focuses on the modeling and analysis of learners and their learning processes in the context of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 15 October 2014

NEW! University of Queensland (Australia)
Applied Learning Analyst – The Applied Learning Analyst will provide learning analytics, modelling and data visualisation support. This includes data analysis, student learner modelling, program and curriculum learning performance analytics, policy development and assistance as required to meet the University’s learning and student experience goals. This position will span all areas of the learning analytics portfolio but retain a particular focus on the modelling and analysis of student learning that support the University’s teaching and learning strategic agenda. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 13 October 2014