This Week in Learning Analytics (January 25 – 30, 2015)

Speaking of learning analytics, here's another picture of my dog, 'Pocket.'
Speaking of learning analytics, here’s another picture of my dog, ‘Pocket.’


Higher Education

26 January 2015
University of Michigan Considers Data Collection Policy Changes

University of Michigan Vice Provost for Digital Education and Innovation, James Hilton, is working with an informal group to draft a Standard Practice Guide policy to govern the use of collected student data.

SOURCE: the Michigan Daily

25 January 2015
Stanford VPTL Educational Data Sharing Portal Completed

Stanford University’s Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (VPTL) has completed its portal for sharing archived learner data from select online courses with researchers within Stanford and from other institutions. The purpose of this portal and its accompanying documentation is to enable ethically responsible, peer-governed scientific inquiry. Researchers may apply for archived learner data from Stanford at

SOURCE: Learning Analytics Google Group via George Siemens

25 January 2015
Student Tracking Initiatives at Ball State University

Ball State University is involved in several initiatives meant to track and store information about student behavior. They are currently working with Rapid Insight to correlate freshman survey results with behavioral patterns gleaned from swipe-card activity, and are exploring the possibility of working with the Educational Advisory Board and/or joining the University Innovation Alliance to improve graduation rates through data analysis.

SOURCE: Tracking students’ digital footprint at Ball State


26 January 2015
Wisconsin Middle School find Success in Data-Driven Approach

Wrightstown Middle School tracks every detail of the student experience in order to achieve a uniform direction and constant improvement, and has become one of Wisconsin’s top schools. But Wrightstown is affluent. As Tim Kaufman, chair of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay College of Education points out, “for schools with less poverty the report cards may be a truer indication of teaching and learning.”


25 January 2015
Phys Ed Fitness Tracking in Minnesota Schools

A project to develop fitness tracking technology for use in physical education classes has received $2.1 Million in funding from the US Department of Education. Activity and heart-rate monitoring is already seeing positive changes in student behavior.


25 January 2015
New VA Bill to Prohibit Collection of Student Social Security numbers

There are two bills before the Virginia General Assembly meant to protect sensitive student information, the first, Bill 1307, would prevent schools from requiring the collection of social security numbers and would, instead, require the development of a separate set of identification numbers. The second, Bill 1334, would require the Department of Education to notify parents in cases where a security breech may have resulted in a FERPA violation.



27 January 2015
Unicon to Develop Integration for Sinclair Community College (SCC) between Apereo Notification Portlet and Student Success Plan (SSP)

Unicon will develop an integration between the Apereo uPortal and Student Success Plan (SSP) for Sinclair Community College. The project aims to make it possible for advisors, faculty, and students to view action items from within uPortal. The integration will be open source so that other institutions running uPortal and SSP can make use of it as well.


25 January 2015
Learning Analytics Collaborative Seeks Partners to Transform Teaching Internationally

Sujoy Chaudhuri, data scientist at the American School of Bombay, has initiated a collaborative that aims to “take an active role in applying, researching, and developing learning analytics and data visualizations to transform teaching and learning.” To date, the collaborative has two partners, the American School of Bombay and the American International School – Chennai, and is involved in a incubator project with a high school to develop and interactive transcript.



27 January 2015
Over 200 People Take Part in LACE Seminars at Bett!

Research & Reports

Learning analytics: A Survey
Usha Keshavamurthy & H S Guruprasad | International Journal of Computer Trends and Technology (IJCTT) | Vol. 18 No. 6 (Dec 2014)

ABSTRACT — Learning analytics is a research topic that is gaining increasing popularity in recent time. It analyzes the learning data available in order to make aware or improvise the process itself and/or the outcome such as student performance. In this survey paper, we look at the recent research work that has been conducted around learning analytics, framework and integrated models, and application of various models and data mining techniques to identify students at risk and to predict student performance.


“Twitter Archeology” of Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conferences
Bodong Chen, Xin Chen, Wanli Xing | LAK ’15 (In Press) | March 16 – 20, 2015

ABSTRACT — The goal of the present study was to uncover new insights about the learning analytics community by analyzing Twitter archives from the past four Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) conferences. Through descriptive analysis, interaction network analysis, hashtag analysis, and topic modeling, we found: extended coverage of the community over the years; increasing interactions among its members regardless of peripheral and in-persistent participation; increasingly dense, connected and balanced social networks; and more and more diverse research topics. Detailed inspection of semantic topics uncovered insights complementary to the analysis of LAK publications in previous research.


Evidence Hub Review
Doug Clow, Simon Cross, Rebecca Ferguson, Bart Rienties | Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE) | D2.5 (Dec 2014)

ABSTRACT — This document sets out the background, development and launch for the LACE Evidence Hub (, a way of gathering the evidence about learning analytics in an accessible form. It describes the functionality of the site and analyses its quantitative and thematic content to date and the state of evidence. It then sets out plans for further work.




Leveraging Learning Analytics
Niall Sclater | University Business | 27 January 2015

Sclater discusses how UK institutions are getting started with learning analytics, how institutions are grappling with ethical questions, and important considerations as they move ahead into the future. Motivations for investment in learning analytics are varied, but retention continues to be a driving concern. Ethical implications are often raised in conversation, but have yet to prove very problematic in practice. Exemplary, here, is the Open University, which worked with its student association to develop a policy for the ethical use of student data. Sclater emphasizes that the UK (along with everyone else) is still in the early stages, but UK institutions are increasingly interested in understanding how to best make use of the vast amounts of data that they are accumulating.


Colorado’s New Higher Education Funding Model
Mark Ferrandino | The Denver Post | 24 January 2015

Prescribed by HB 1319, Colorado’s new model for funding higher education is supported by real-time, student0level data. Ferrandino commends the stakeholders “who helped launch a more transparent higher education funding system based on data and incentives aligned with the policy goals of the General Assembly”



Teachers turn to Data analysis to Help Students
Kristen Nicole | Silicon Angle | 28 January 2015

Interview with Raj Chary, Vice President of Technology/Architecture at Triumph Learning, LLC. To help educators with measuring the skills necessary for k-12 student’s to succeed in subsequent grades, Triumph Learning built Get Waggle, which launched in July 2014. Built from the ground up for grades 3-8, the platform supports Common Core subjects, including math and English language arts, and provides teachers an interactive platform to plan lessons that meet required standards.


A Taxonomy of the Ethical and Legal Issues of Learning Analytics v0.1
Niall Sclater | Jisc | 28 January 2015

Sclater provides a helpful summary of the literature review he conducted in December on behalf of Jisc. Following a workshop with the LACE Project and Apereo, during which the taxonomy will be clarified and refined, Sclater intends to use the taxonomy as the basis for work with the Code of Practice Advisory Group and the goal of developing a useful Code of Practice.


K-12 Lessons and Higher Education Opportunity
Timothy D. Harfield | | 28 January 2015

Summary of a seminar at Emory University led by Ben Sayeski, Managing Partner of Education Strategy Consulting. Four major themes are identified, including (1) the importance of moving from the knowable to the known, (2) the value of transparency, (3) the priority of asking questions over making recommendations, and (4) maintaining a view to agility through platform agnosticism.


My First Course: Learning Analytics in the Knowledge Age
Bodong Chen | | 27 January 2015

Bodong Chen (Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota) discusses the details of a course that he is teaching in the Spring 2015 semester: Learning Analytics in the Knowledge Age. The course is distinct from other previous courses in learning analytics on account of (1) an emphasis on learning rather than focussing too heavily on analytics and (2) the aim of producing new knowledge to solve real-world problems.


Was the Data, Analytics, and Learning MOOC (aka DALMOOC) a Success?
Timothy D. Harfield | | 25 January 2015

Response to a recent post in which the author claimed that the success of Data, Analytics, and Learning MOOC (aka DALMOOC) was something that should not be measured, and implies that we should be resistant to the concepts of ‘measurement’ and ‘success’ in general. Harfield points out the irony of such a position from the designer of a MOOC about learning analytics, and uses the piece as an opportunity to reflect critically upon what ‘success’ and ‘measurement’ mean.



Learning Analytics: Threats and Opportunities
Martin Hawksey | 28 January 2015

Read commentary on Martin’s presentation here:

Technical Challenges for Realizing Learning Analytics
Ralf Klamma | 29 January 2015