This Week in Learning Analytics (February 7 – 13, 2015)

On February 9, 2015 Ryan Baker delivered a compelling lecture on predicting student outcomes using automated predictors of engagement and affect. The lecture was delivered as part of the QuanTM Learning Analytics Speaker Series.
On February 9, 2015 Ryan Baker delivered a compelling lecture on predicting student outcomes using automated predictors of engagement and affect. The lecture was delivered as part of the QuanTM Learning Analytics Speaker Series, and will be made availalbe via the Emory University YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

Headlines

Higher Ed


Game Design Helps Engage Students in Classroom
Press and Guide | 13 February 2015

University of Michigan Ann Arbor is in the midst of a pilot program in which classes are taught using a new gamified LMS called Gradecraft. “GradeCraft is a game-inspired LMS designed to facilitate autonomy while building student competence in the subject area. It not only motivates students in nontraditional ways, but also leverages learning analytics to better inform the instructor on a student’s strengths, weaknesses and interests so that the instructor can best understand how to help students succeed.” Students are provided with analytics which chart their progress and identify ways to earn additional ‘points.’ GradeCraft was designed by Caitlin Holman, Stephen Agular, and Barry Fishman, who presented their initial findings at LAK’13.

SOURCE: http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2015/02/13/news/doc54de183d6f687558600080.txt

Analytics Creating Whole Host of Privacy Issues, Claims University of Derby’s IT Director
Computing | 10 February 2015

IT director of the University of Derby, Neil Williams, comments on the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of big data analytics in university environments. “The challenge for the university, which isn’t the same as for other organisations, centres on the ethics of such ‘Big Brother’ big data efforts. We are building capabilities but we have to look through these internally and ask what it means and go through the appropriate governance methods and understand what our stakeholders feel. We have to make sure what we do is right. In contrast, if you look at a website and somebody is tracking what you’re looking at, you expect to then be targeted [with advertisements], but these [students] are members of our institution – not customers, so it’s a different situation.”

SOURCE: http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2394650/analytics-creating-whole-host-of-privacy-issues-claims-university-of-derby-s-it-director

FULL INTERVIEW: http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/interview/2394906/balancing-big-data-with-big-brother-an-interview-with-the-university-of-derbys-neil-williams

University of Nottingham Announces Learning Analytics Program
University of Nottingham | 8 February 2015

The University of Nottingham has initiated a learning analytics project that will roll out in multiple phases. The first phase will involve identifying correlations between students’ use of Moodle, module scores, and satisfaction levels in order to optimize their LMS environment. Future goals for the project involve creating a recommender system and embedding analytics to create interactive learning environments.

SOURCE: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/teaching/strategypolicy/ttp/analytics/index.aspx

K-12


Uncovering Security Flaws in Digital Education Products for Schoolchildren
New York Times | 8 February 2015

Tony Porterfield has alerted the makers of nearly 20 digital education products to serious security flaws which are symptomatic of “widespread lapses in student data protection across the education technology sector.” Although some companies, including Pearson and Class Dojo, took immediate action in the face of Porterfield’s concerns, many have not.

SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/09/technology/uncovering-security-flaws-in-digital-education-products-for-schoolchildren.html?_r=0

Events


DIY Learning Analytics Workshop at Emory University
Timothy D. Harfield | Analytics for Learning at Emory | 13 February 2015

Microsoft Education evangelist, Patrick Leblanc, visited Emory University on February 11 to facilitate a workshop on the use of MS Excel, Power Query, Power Pivot, and Power BI to work with educational data sets. He effectively demonstrated the power and versatility of Microsoft products that many currently already license.

SOURCE: https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/ale/2015/02/13/learning-analytics-using-microsoft-excel/

LACE initiative Resulted in New Asian SIG on Learning Analytics
Weiqin Chen | Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE) | 8 February 2015

A successful pre-conference learning analytics workshop held in conjunction with the International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE) has led to the formation of learning analytics special interest group within the Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education (APSCE)

SOURCE: http://www.laceproject.eu/blog/lace-initiative-resulted-new-asian-sig-learning-analytics

Research

Journal Papers


Data Mining in Higher Education: University Student Dropout Case Study
Ghadeer S. Abu-Oda & Alaa M. El-Halees |
International Journal of Data Mining & Knowledge Management Process (IJDKP) | 5 (1)

ABSTRACT: In this paper, we apply different data mining approaches for the purpose of examining and predicting students’ dropouts through their university programs. For the subject of the study we select a total of 1290 records of computer science students Graduated from ALAQSA University between 2005 and 2011. The collected data included student study history and transcript for courses taught in the first two years of computer science major in addition to student GPA , high school average , and class label of (yes ,No) to indicate whether the student graduated from the chosen major or not. In order to classify and predict dropout students, different classifiers have been trained on our data sets including Decision Tree (DT), Naive Bayes (NB). These methods were tested using 10-fold cross validation. The accuracy of DT, and NlB classifiers were 98.14% and 96.86% respectively. The study also includes discovering hidden relationships between student dropout status and enrolment persistence by mining a frequent cases using FP-growth algorithm.

SOURCE: http://www.academia.edu/10468618/DATA_MINING_IN_HIGHER_EDUCATION_UNIVERSITY_STUDENT_DROPOUT_CASE_STUDY

Conference Proceedings


A Novel Similarity Measure Between Two Probability Distributions For Course Establishment
Aijiao Liu, Yiping Zhang, Min Chen | International Conference on Education, Management, Commerce and Society (EMCS 2015)

ABSTRACT: In this paper, in order to obtain the optimized analysis of clustering for the probability distributions, the increment of the description length is proposed to instead the relative entropy as the similarity measure between two probability distributions. Its corresponding features are also discussed in detail in this paper. As the improvement, the increment of description satisfies the symmetrical feature. On the basis of this similarity measure, K-means algorithm is employed to analysis the police training data and to influence the corresponding course establishment. The experiment results indicate that the proposed similarity measure can lead to better clustering results than some other previous similarity measure.

SOURCE: http://www.atlantis-press.com/php/pub.php?publication=emcs-15&frame=http%3A//www.atlantis-press.com/php/paper-details.php%3Ffrom%3Dauthor+index%26id%3D16453%26querystr%3Dauthorstr%253DL

Opinions

Best of Blogs


Not In the Clear: Libraries and Privacy
Barbara Fister | Inide Higher Ed | 12 February 2015

Barbara Fister (librarian and self-identified privacy nut) discusses the tension between (1) an interest in promoting student success through learning analytics and (2) a commitment to protect student privacy. She observes that, in spite of the latter, “libraries are terrible at privacy! … in an era when everybody’s doing data dragnets, it’s alarming to see how leaky our library websites are, how revealing our catalogs and databases are, and how cavalier we have been with patron data that we swear we will protect.”

SOURCE: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/library-babel-fish/not-clear-libraries-and-privacy

Learning Analytics: On Silver Bullets and White Rabbits
Simon Buckingham Shum | Medium | 8 February 2015

With a poignancy so often lacking in discussions of learning analytics, Simon Buckingham Shum asks a question that should be top of mind for anyone before, during, and after working with big data in education: “In the very process of trying to value certain learning qualities by tracking them, will we in fact distort or even destroy a living, organic system, through clumsy efforts to categorise and quantify?

SOURCE: https://medium.com/@sbskmi/learning-analytics-on-silver-bullets-and-white-rabbits-a92d202dc7e3

Learning Analytics in Practice

Tips and Tricks


7 Ways to Get Started with Analytics & Reports in Moodle
Sean Marx | iLite | 7 February 2015

Reviews seven plugins and reports that give users access to view trends, analytics and data Moodle sites.

SOURCE: https://ilite.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/7-ways-to-get-started-with-analytics-reports-in-moodle/

Co-curricular Module Trends in Moodle, Using Learning Analytics
Charles Kasule | Kings College London, Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning | 6 February 2015

The Kings College London, Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning recently developed a learning analytics tool using Microsoft Excel that could visualize raw Moodle data and produce reports that are viewable offline. “In comparison to what is currently offered by Moodle reporting option, the Learning Analytics tool offers a better way of navigating, comparing, analysing and tracking how users use the VLE materials from the data that the Moodle report provides.”

SOURCE: https://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/ctel/2015/02/06/co-curricular-analytics/

Presentations & Webinars


What is the Tin Can API and how does it enable the flow of data?
Megan Bowe | SoLAR Storm | 7 February 2015

REPLAY WEBINAR: http://solaresearch.org/initiatives/storm/open-webinars/megan-bowe-tincan/

This Week in Learning Analytics (January 31 – February 6, 2015)

Had some fun last week during a tour of CURVE (Collaborative University Research & Visualization Environment) at Georgia State University.  I am told that I am the first one to turn their gigantor screen into an immersive (and completely unusable) keyboard.
Had some fun last week during a tour of CURVE (Collaborative University Research & Visualization Environment) at Georgia State University. I am told that I am the first one to turn their gigantor screen into an immersive (and completely unusable) keyboard.

Headlines

Higher Ed


2 February 2015
Southern University at Shreveport, Louisiana Enlists Unicon to Implement Student Success Plan (SSP)

Unicon, Inc., a leading IT consulting, services, and support provider specializing in open source for the education technology market, today announced that it will implement Student Success Plan (SSP) at Southern University at Shreveport, Louisiana (SUSLA) for coaches, counselors, and advisors to guide their students with case management technology. Unicon will provide IT consulting services, including implementation planning, systems integration, training, and support. SSP, case management technology, helps institutions achieve student success by providing a holistic coaching and counseling model for integrated planning and advising services (IPAS). At SUSLA, Unicon will integrate the institution’s student information system (SIS) and learning management system (LMS) with SSP, making it possible to populate student data from the SIS and academic data from the LMS into SSP. Unicon will also provide training to coaches, counselors, and advisors, ensuring they are well equipped to use the software and promote student success.

SOURCE: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/02/prweb12485364.htm

1 February 2015
Texas Tech Makes Student Retention a Top University Goal

Texas Tech is piloting the Student Success Collaborative by the Education Advisory Board to increase student retention through a combination of ‘high tech’ and ‘high touch’ efforts.

SOURCE: http://www.dailytoreador.com/news/tech-makes-student-retention-top-university-goal/article_288f3d94-aa8b-11e4-a65b-ef1a3e74279d.html

K-12


4 February 2015
DC Public Schools say internal website vulnerability left student information exposed

The public has been able to gain access to an internal website that was launched in 2010 and stores training materials for DC Public School staff related to special education cases. Some student information was listed in those training materials, as well as login information to a database regarding the District’s special education students.

SOURCE: http://dcps.dc.gov

3 February 2015
Durham Children’s Data Center lunched to collect and use date to inform policy decisions

South Carolina School officials have announced the launch of the Durham Children’s Data Center, an initiative with the county and Duke University, to collect and use date to inform policy decisions for the county and Durham Public Schools. The Children’s Data Center will be housed at and administered by the Center for Child and Family Policy at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy. One of the first policy questions the research team will tackle involves pre-kindergarten programs, which in recent weeks, have been a hot topic among school board members.

SOURCE: http://www.heraldsun.com/news/showcase/x992360040/Durham-Children-s-Data-Center-to-offer-DPS-input

3 February 2015
Ephesus Elementary School counselor honored for data-centered approach

Ephesus Elementary School will receive designation as a Recognized American School Counselor Association Model Program, called RAMP, in Phoenix, Arizona on June 30. Ephesus Elementary School Counselor Ashley Sherman said the school implemented a comprehensive classroom program that relied more heavily on data. She said the school looks at student data more frequently to see what intervention and counseling measures need to be implemented.

SOURCE: http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2015/02/ephesus-elementary-school-counselor-honored-for-data-centered-approach

2 February 2015
Dept. of Ed Launches Summits Aimed at Improving Technology Use in Schools

Over the next six months, national experts will travel to a dozen cities to collaborate with school leaders in workshops on issues such as teacher training, student data privacy, instruction and budgets. This initiative, Future Ready Schools, is organized through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Education and the Alliance for Excellent Education, Washington, D.C., policy and advocacy organization.

SOURCE: http://www.gamesandlearning.org/2015/02/02/dept-of-ed-launches-summits-aimed-at-improving-technology-use-in-schools/

2 February 2015
Virtual Preschool: Yes, That’s Now a Real Option

ClassVINCI Home is a subscription service ranging from $80 to $645 annually. All packages include weekly electronic delivery of digital books, songs, and games, as well as an activity guide for parents. Children are expected to use the digital learning games about 30 minutes per week. Parents are expected to do about 30 minutes worth of activities per week with their child, plus read the book together with their child every day. The child’s work is tracked through the company’s online learning management system. Parents who purchase the more expensive packages receive up to 90 minutes per month of time to interact online with a “trained and specialized” teacher who will discuss the child’s progress, answer the parent’s questions, and offer advice and customized activities and suggestions.

SOURCE: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2015/02/virtual_preschool_now_real_option.html

Industry


6 February 2015
Kajeet Education Broadband™ Now Available to 13,000 School Districts

Worthington Schools in Ohio is the latest school district to benefit from the expanded Kajeet coverage area. Currently partnering with more than 50 districts in 20 states, Kajeet is keeping students connected on multiple wireless broadband networks to online textbooks, apps, emails, documents and websites, as well as to their teachers, with its Kajeet Education Broadband solution to ensure that students have a level playing field for academic success and improved test scores. A key benefit of the Kajeet mobile Education Broadband solution is that it allows districts and schools to fully customize and filter the websites students can visit, as well as the times of day or night appropriate for student use. Teachers and administrators can further restrict access hours, and Kajeet filters out non-educational content. This keeps students on-task and controls costs. As part of the Kajeet solution, teachers and administrators receive reports with learning analytics to help improve student achievement.

SOURCE: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/02/prweb12492211.htm

3 February 2015
Civitas Learning Closes $16 Million In Funding to Continue Trailblazing Efforts in Data Science and Student Success

Civitas Learning, the Austin-based predictive analytics Software-as-a-Service (Saas) innovator on a mission to help a million more students graduate every year by 2025, today announced $16 million in funding led by new investor Rethink Education, a venture capital firm that invests in progressive companies that are at the forefront of the education technology industry. Returning investors include Austin Ventures and Emergence Capital.

SOURCE: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/02/prweb12489274.htm

30 January 2015
Tutor.com’s Personalized Learning Services Available to 12,000 Worldwide Students and Faculty at Penn State World Campus

Tutor.com, the leading online tutoring service, announced that Penn State World Campus, a pioneer in online learning, will offer Tutor.com’s award-winning tutoring and data analytics to students in all 50 states, more than 40 countries and 7 continents.

SOURCE: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/02/prweb12489274.htm

Research

Conference Proceedings


A Case Study of Learning Action and Emotion from a Perspective of Learning Analytics
Haiping Zhu, Xinhui Zhang, Xinhong Wang, Yan Chen, Bin Zeng | 2014 IEEE 17th International Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) | 19-21 Dec 2014

ABSTRACT — With the rapid development of online learning, users have more and more diverse ways to learning. The advantage of online learning is that the e-learners’ behaviors can be completely recorded in the log events. So learning analytics can be made on these data. More than 500 freshmen used Moodle to study our “C program” course each year. So a large number of learning data have been collected. How to make analysis of the data is very meaningful. In this paper, we focused on analyzing characteristics both the learning behaviors and the nonintellectual factor of e-learners, such as emotion. We aimed to find the main factors which influence learner’s achievements. These factors might be submit time of programs, login times, the frequency of assignment view, etc. Based on the analysis, we adopted The Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) and Felder & Solomon Learning Styles and Strategies surveys to obtain e-learner’s emotion and learning style in a certain period of time or currently. Then we made the correlation analysis between e-learner’s emotion, learning style and their achievements. The experimental results made a verification that positive emotion has a great influence on the user. And also the learning enthusiasm of visual learners is obviously higher than that of verbal learners.

SOURCE: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=7023615

Summaries & Reviews


In College Access, ‘Who’ Is As Important As ‘How’
Garrett Neiman | Forbes | 4 Feb 2015

ABSTRACT — Research conducted by CollegeSpring’s director of Research and Evaluation, Marina Preciado, suggests that the effectiveness of college-going interventions are related to how well the people providing support are matched with students. “This research suggests that students who have needs for both academic and non-academic intervention may benefit differently from different approaches to mentoring. For academic outcomes, students may benefit most from a “tutoring” approach in which an academically adept mentor focuses his or her energies on improving students’ academic outcomes through focused practice. This may be best executed by mentors with a strong academic background and training focused on academic preparation.”

SOURCE: http://www.forbes.com/sites/garrettneiman/2015/02/04/in-college-access-who-is-as-important-as-how/

Creepy Analytics and Learner Data Rights
Michael de Raadt | moodle.org | 30 Jan 2015

ABSTRACT — Review of “Creepy Analytics and Learner Data Rights” by Scott Beattie (CQU), Carolyn Woodley (RMIT), Kay Souter (Deakin University) and published in the Proceedings of ASCILITE2014

SOURCE: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=279391

Opinions

Editorials


How real-time learning is shaping the classroom of the future: Intel says Kno to boring school activities
Kane Fulton | Tech Radar | 4 February 2015

Interview with John Galvin, Vice President and General Manager at Intel Education, who claims that “Kno harks back to Intel founders Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, who places education high on the company’s agenda from the start.”

SOURCE: http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/how-intel-is-bringing-adaptive-learning-to-the-classroom-1283350

Blogs


Stop treating universities as if they were a football game
Peter Scott | The Guardian | 3 February 2015

SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/feb/03/universities-league-tables-distorting-research

Learning analytics is better when…..?
David Jones | The Weblog of (a) David Jones | 2 February 2015

SOURCE: https://davidtjones.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/learning-analytics-is-better-when/

A Clear Reporting and Analytics Gap in Learning and Education
Brent Harvey | Lambda Solutions Blog | 30 January 2015

SOURCE: http://blog.lambdasolutions.net/a-clear-reporting-and-analytics-gap-in-learning-and-education

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.’

Headlines

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 vpol.stanford.edu/research.

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

K-12


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.”

SOURCE: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/education/2015/01/25/data-driven-teaching-earns-wrightstown-school-top-grade/22324059/

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.

SOURCE: http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_27392289/homeroom-new-technology-every-move-counts-phy-ed

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.

SOURCE: http://www.tricities.com/news/local/article_958b2d7a-a50b-11e4-a4ed-6bea8f4fd0d7.html

Industry


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.

SOURCE: http://www.pressreleaserocket.net/unicon-to-develop-integration-for-sinclair-community-college-scc-between-apereo-notification-portlet-and-student-success-plan-ssp/51811/

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.

SOURCE: http://asblac.org/index.htm

Events


27 January 2015
Over 200 People Take Part in LACE Seminars at Bett!
SOURCE: http://www.laceproject.eu/blog/200-people-take-part-lace-seminars-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.

SOURCE: http://www.ijcttjournal.org/Volume18/number-6/IJCTT-V18P155.pdf

“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.

SOURCE: http://meefen.github.io/public/files/Chen_LAK15_Twitter_Archeology.pdf

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 (http://evidence.laceproject.eu/), 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.

SOURCE: http://www.ijcttjournal.org/Volume18/number-6/IJCTT-V18P155.pdf

Opinions

Editorials


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.

SOURCE: http://universitybusiness.co.uk/Article/leveraging_learning_analytics

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”

SOURCE: http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_27380544/new-higher-education-funding-model

Blogs


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.

SOURCE: http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/01/28/teachers-turn-to-data-analysis-to-help-students/

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.

SOURCE: http://analytics.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2015/01/30/a-taxonomy-of-the-ethical-and-legal-issues-of-learning-analytics-v0-1/

K-12 Lessons and Higher Education Opportunity
Timothy D. Harfield | timothyharfield.com | 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.

SOURCE: http://timothyharfield.com/blog/2015/01/25/was-the-data-analytics-and-learning-mooc-aka-dalmooc-a-success/

My First Course: Learning Analytics in the Knowledge Age
Bodong Chen | http://meefen.github.io/ | 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.

SOURCE: http://meefen.github.io/blog/2015/01/27/learning-analytics-course/

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

SOURCE: http://timothyharfield.com/blog/2015/01/25/was-the-data-analytics-and-learning-mooc-aka-dalmooc-a-success/

Presentations

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

Read commentary on Martin’s presentation here: https://mashe.hawksey.info/2015/01/presentation-learning-analytics-threats-and-opportunities/

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

This Week in Learning Analytics (January 17 – 24, 2015)

IMG_0440.JPGLet’s call this a ‘lite’ edition of This Week in Learning Analytics. I’m composing this from the passenger seat of a truck hauling three mustangs (horses, not cars) back from the Mustang Magic Trainer’s Challenge in Fort Worth, TX, where my wife earned a 4th place finish and the distinction of ‘fan favorite.’

Elisa Wallace and Hwin Take Home Fourth Place, Fan Favorite Award at Mustang Magic

In my dual capacity as both supportive husband and marketing director, I spent the weekend furiously taking pictures, producing video, managing social media, and working with sponsors, and didn’t have the time or ability to produce a standard post. I did, however, want to make sure that I put something up in service to the learning analytics community, and so — armed with my mobile phone and in the company of my wife, her groom, three horses, three dogs, and a hamster — I have produced a set of links that I think effectively highlight the major happenings from the field over the past week.


Headlines

January 19, 2015
Parents Step Up Fight Against Data Mining in Australian schools

January 20, 2015
Google Changes Course, Signs Student Data Privacy Pledge

Strategic Tech List for 2015: Mobile and Data Analytics Dominate

Industry Updates

January 20, 2015
WeLearnedIt iPad App for Project-based Learning and Digital Portfolios Now Available to All Future Ready Schools and Districts

RapidMiner Opens Modern Analytics Platform to Academia Worldwide

Opinions

January 12, 2015
Developing Strategies for Implementing Analytics

January 19, 2015
The Art of Linking Social Media with Learning

Bring Your Own Device: The Next Big Trend in Education

Guidelines for using Student Data

January 20, 2015
What Standardized Testing and Schools could Learn from Target

I, for one, welcome our new analytics overlords

January 22, 2015
The Uneven Legacy of No Child Left Behind

A a Straight Talking Guide to Trends and Vendors at Learning Technologies

The Missing Analytics from iTunes U Courses

January 23, 2015
Predictions for the Future of Student Data Privacy

Presentations

Creating an Action Plan for Learning Analytics

Events

Winter 2015 SLAM Series

This Week in Learning Analytics (January 10 – 16, 2015)

On February 20, 2015 The Southeast Educational Data Symposium (SEEDS) will bring together administrators, researchers, and instructors to share how they are making use of educational data to foster student success, and to generate opportunities for ongoing collaboration in the Southeast region of the United States.
On February 20, 2015 The Southeast Educational Data Symposium (SEEDS) will bring together administrators, researchers, and instructors to share how they are making use of educational data to foster student success, and to generate opportunities for ongoing collaboration.

HEADLINES

K-12


12 January 2015
Obama Announces New Laws to Ensure Student Privacy

On Monday, 12 January 2015, American President Barak Obama announced the details of the proposed Student Data Privacy Act. Modeled after California’s Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA), the federal act aims to ensure that data collected in the educational context is used for educational purposes only. The significance of this announcement is that it effectively takes student privacy legislation out of the hands of state governments in order to guarantee consistency from state-to-state. During his announcement, President Obama also praised those companies who had already signed the Student Privacy Pledge. Notably absent from the list of pledge signatories, of course, is Google, whose position continues to be that signing such a pledge is unnecessary, since its own policies already demonstrate a commitment to student privacy.

Higher Education


16 January 2015
Texarkana College Foundation Wins Grant to License Analytics Solution from Civitas Learning

The Texarkana College Foundation has accepted a grant of worth nearly $200,000 from the Texas Pioneer Foundation. The grant will allow Tarkana College, Northeast Texas Community College, and Kilgore College to license and implement a predictive analytics solution from Civitas Learning.

SOURCE: Texas Pioneer Foundation Presents Check for $179,600 to Texarkana College for Student Success Software

Industry


15 January 2015
Study of Corporate LMS’s Shows that Learning Analytics is Important, but Unsatisfactory

Among those from organizations surveyed by Ventana Research, 60% of respondents cite learning management as an important next-generation learning management technology. However, only 37% are satisfied with their current analytics solution.

SOURCE: Ventana Research Unveils Next-Generation Learning Management Benchmark Research

14 January 2015
LAMP Integrated into Jisc Learning Analytics Efforts

Library Analytics and Metrics Project (LAMP) announced this week that it will “move forward as an integral part of the overarching learning analytics R&D efforts of Jisc.” Until now, the LAMP project has been running in parallel with other related activity. Jisc is currently in the process of procuring vendors to contribute to various elements of an open learning analytics solution. With LAMP’s integration, not only is its technology (a dashboard for visualizing library use patterns) assured of being a part of the larger Jisc solution, but its members look forward to supporting the trajectory of the Jisc analytics project more generally.

SOURCE: LAMP to be integrated into Jisc’s Learner and Business Analytics R&D activities

14 January 2015
EDUCAUSE Drops Two Learning Analytics Technologies from its Annual Top Ten List

In contrast to the EDUCAUSE Susan Grajek, explains, the decrease in representation by analytics technologies should in no way indicate a decline in interest. Rather, she explains that “What we’re finding is that institutions are picking up the pace and paying more attention to more technologies. Attention isn’t shifting in the amount of effort, it’s shifting in terms of expanding.”

SOURCE: ‘Inflection Point’ in IT

Events


16 January 2015
Learning Analytics Speaker Series at Emory University

The 2014 – 2015 Learning Analytics Speaker Series at Emory University hosted by the Institute for Quantitative Theory and Methods aims to stimulate conversations about the use of educational data to promote student success, however that may be conceived.

SOURCE: Learning Analytics Speaker Series at Emory University

16 January 2015
SoLAR Flare Southeast US

The Southeast Educational Data Symposium (SEEDS) will bring together administrators, researchers, and instructors to share how they are making use of educational data to foster student success, and to generate opportunities for ongoing collaboration in the Southeast region of the United States on Friday, February 20, 2015 at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta, GA.The all-day event will run from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM EST and include a morning keynote, delivered by Carolyn Rosé (Carnegie Mellon University), followed by panel discussions and lunch-time roundtables.

SOURCE: SoLAR Flare Southeast US (Emory, 2015)

OPINIONS

Editorials


Learning Analytics — The Chrystal Ball of Learning
Vishvakanth Alexander | Training Magazine (Middle East) | 16 January 2015

Blogs


Exploring Learning Analytics: How is it affecting corporate learning?
Arunima Majumdar | G-Cube Blog | 16 January 2015

Learning Analytics…From the Learner’s Perspective
Axonify | 16 January 2015

Exactly How A Learning Management System Can Improve Your Teaching
Jill Margerison | te@chthought | 10 January 2015

PRESENTATIONS

Learning Analytics and MOOCs: What have we learned so far and where to go?
Dragan Gasevic | 9 January 2015

This Week in Learning Analytics (January 3 – 9, 2015)

I took this picture of the contents of a garbage can that I sat next to at UC Davis last week. A mass grave for marshmallow snowmen.
I took this picture of the contents of a garbage can that I sat next to at UC Davis last week. A mass grave for marshmallow snowmen.

HEADLINES

Student Success


New Study Reveals that PhD Holders are not Absorbed into Employment as Easily as Previously Thought
Holly Elisa | Times Higher Education | 3 January 2015

A recent paper published by Heidi Skovgaard Pederson in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management looks to the European Commission’s Careers of Doctorate Holders surveys on PhD labour market outcomes and observes that “Several policies have been implemented to promote the production of PhDs and support their labour market outcomes. However, the latter has received relatively little attention empirically”. She concludes the paper by commenting that “There is a need to increase knowledge within the area to understand mobilisation patterns, to ensure continued attractiveness of doctoral education in the longer run and provide a research strategy to assist policymakers in their decision-making.”

Three Eastern Kansas Universities Seek to Identify Struggling Students More Quickly and HelpThem to Graduate
Associated Press | The Republic | 5 January 2015

The University of Kansas, Ottawa University, and Haskell Indian Nations University are each using systems to mine student data to increase student success, as part of a national push to improve retention and graduation rates. The University of Kansas in particular makes use of a Starfish330 integration with Blackboard Learn to flag at-risk students and facilitate interventions.

Blackboard&Starfish

The University of Kansas is also one of 11 universities in the University Innovation Alliance, which aims to share knowledge about predictive analytics and intensive advising strategies to improve educational outcomes for all students, regardless of background.

AVID Students Stick with College and Outpace Peers
Maureen Magee | U-T San Diego | 6 January 2015

The National Student Clearninghouse has found that high school graduates from 2010 and 2011 who participated in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) persisted through their freshman and sophomore years of college at a higher rate than their counterparts who were not in the program. the AVID program promotes academic success in middle and high school cultivates success through intensive tutoring and by fostering independent study and organizational skills. Now in its 35th year, AVID began in San-Diego, and is currently used by more than 5,000 schools in 44 states and 16 countries.

Government


Auditors Find that the Georgia Department of Education Needs Better Analysis of Student Data
Walter C. Jones | Athens Banner-Herald | 4 January 2015

A report by the Department of Audits and Accounts observes that the Georgia Department of Education lacks a comprehensive assessment of data collected. Such a comprehensive, systematic analysis would allow the department “to identify significant trends or anomalies that could indicate weaknesses in local school systems’ data collection and reporting processes, particularly as it relates to the Full-Time Equivalent data collection.” The Department of Education apparently does a fine job of ensuring the cleanliness of its data, but does little in the way of analysis that would contribute to actionable insights.

Irish Minister of Education considers retaining student data until students turn 30
newstalk.com | 7 January 2015

Irish Minister of Education, Jan O’Sullivan, has said that she would consider a plan to adopt a Primary Online Database (POD) that would function as a central repository for student information, with a data retention policy that wold allow data to be retained until students reach the age of 30. Critics are concerned about government overreach.

Industry


Smart Classroom Market Growth Driven by Learning Analytics and its Globally Increasing Adoption
PR Newswire | 5 January 2015

ReportsnReports.com has added an 83 page research report on education and smart classroom industry to the IT & Telecommunication intelligence section of its online business research and data library. “Global Smart Classroom Market 2015-2019” discusses the impact of learning analytics on online teaching practices and its usefulness in gaining insights into how students understand smart courseware courseware. The report observes that market drivers like increased broadband adoption, increased interest in flexible learning models, and increased investment in smart education systems are likely to see increased investment in learning analytics over the next 3-4 years.

InfoSnap Signs Student Privacy Pledge
InfoSnap | 6 January 2015

InfoSnap, a leading provider of cloud-based registration management solutions, has signed the K-12 School Service Provider Pledge to Safeguard Student Privacy sponsored by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and The Future of Privacy Forum. In signing the pledge, InfoSnap joins the likes of Knewton, Microsoft, Renaissance Learning, Shutterfly, and others in their commitment:

  • Not sell student information
  • Not behaviorally target advertising
  • Use data for authorized education purposes only
  • Not change privacy policies without notice and choice
  • Enforce strict limits on data retention
  • Support parental access to, and correction of errors in, their children’s information
  • Provide comprehensive security standards, and
  • Be transparent about collection and use of data

Language-Learning App Duolingo Introduces Program for Classrooms
Kif Leswing | GIGAOM | 8 January 2015

The language learning softwre company, Duolingo, has just launched Duolingo for Schools. The program, which is already used by many teachers, will give teachers more centralized control over the program, as well as data on how students are doing and where remediation might be required

Blackboard&Starfish

University Of Phoenix Finds Payoff In Private Cloud
Charles Babcock | GIGAOM | 9 January 2015

The Apollo Education Group (parent organization of the University of Phoenix) has modernized its IT infrastructire to better support the collection and analysis of student data. After exploring public cloud options like Amazon’s EC2 cloud, Apollo found that, economically, a private cloud solution (based on VMware’s vCloud Suite and Vblocks from the VMware-Cisco-EMC consortium, VCE) was the best approach.

Events


Tools for Evidence-Based Action (TEA) Workshop
Timothy D. Harfield | timothyharfield.com | 6-7 January 2015

Hosted by the UC Davis iAMSTEM Hub and generously funded by the Helmsley Trust, Tools for Evidence-Based Action (TEA) aims to disseminate new tools and methodologies for classroom observations and visualizing student pathways. Its inaugural workshop brought together delegates from all over the United States for two days of intense sharing and discussion of data visualization tools. I had the geat pleasure of being invited to the event, which I documented in the blog posts below:

RESEARCH

MUST READ When Small Words Foretell Academic Success: The Case of College Admissions Essays
James W. Pennebaker, Cindy K. Chung, Joey Frazee, Gary M. Lavergne, David I. Beaver | PLoS ONE | 9(12)

Abstract
The smallest and most commonly used words in English are pronouns, articles, and other function words. Almost invisible to the reader or writer, function words can reveal ways people think and approach topics. A computerized text analysis of over 50,000 college admissions essays from more than 25,000 entering students found a coherent dimension of language use based on eight standard function word categories. The dimension, which reflected the degree students used categorical versus dynamic language, was analyzed to track college grades over students’ four years of college. Higher grades were associated with greater article and preposition use, indicating categorical language (i.e., references to complexly organized objects and concepts). Lower grades were associated with greater use of auxiliary verbs, pronouns, adverbs, conjunctions, and negations, indicating more dynamic language (i.e., personal narratives). The links between the categorical-dynamic index (CDI) and academic performance hint at the cognitive styles rewarded by higher education institutions.

NOTE: A summary of this research was recently published by Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed here: New Study Links Certain Application Essays and College Success

OPINIONS

Editorials


Student Needs Should Trump Interests of Adults
Wes Smith | U-T San Diego | 2 January 2015

Smith (Executive Director of the Association of California School Administrators) observes that defining and measuring educational quality is complex, but that this complexity is no excuse to stall efforts to advocate for high-quality education and equitable access to effective educators. He observes that data collected about student performance and teacher effectiveness are rarely tied to student learning. In response, the Association of California School Administrators is working on an educator effectiveness bill which emphasizes learning over performance, and sees responsibility of high-quality education extend beyond the teacher.

A Big Data-Powered ‘GPS’ Helps Colleges Boost Graduation Rates: Predictive Analytics Help Schools Identify and Aid Struggling Students
D. Frank Smith | EdTech Magazine | 7 January 2015

A very nice summary of the successful work being done at Georgia State University, under the direction of Timothy Renick, to develop a predictive analytics system that functions in support of an intensive advising program. Georgia State praised by President Obama at a recent White House summit on strategies to increase higher education graduation rates.

MUST READ Learners, Teachers, and Technology: Personalization in 2015 and Beyond
Kristen DiCerbo | Wired Magazine | 7 January 2015

DiCerbo helpfully addresses a common source of equivocation by clearly distinguishes three ways in which the term ‘Personalized Learning.’ In her view, the use of analytics for the sake of personalization can put one of three agents in the position of decision-maker: (1) The Student, (2) Technology, and/or (3) The Teacher. She insists that personalization needs to involve a sophisticated blending of learner, teacher and technology, Decisions about WHEN to privilege a particular perspective over others are difficult but important. Reflection on these roles, responsibilities, and the conditions under which they are adopted are crucial to the use of personalization to improve student outcomes, and will richly inform the future of technology in the space.

Blogs


Education Predictions for 2015
NPR Ed Team | National Public Radio (NPR) | 3 January 2015

Elana Zeide (Privacy Research Fellow, Information Law Institute, New York University) predicts that, in response to increasing public concern over student data becoming permanent records, 2015 will see increased regulation by government as well as public commitments to student data privacy on the part of private industry. Jose Vilson (author of This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education) expects to see more nuanced kind of data in schools. In particular, he expects to see a return to anecdotal evidence, and increased concern for issues of diversity in teacher evaluation.

What Schools Could Use Instead of Standardized Tests
Anya Kamenetz | National Public Radio (NPR) | 6 January 2015

Kamenetz observes that, in spite of strong criticism of standardized testing, there is nonetheless little in the way of discussion of what might replace it. She suggests four (non-mutually exclusive) possibilities

  1. Sampling
  2. Stealth Assessment
  3. Multiple Measures
    • Social and Emotional Skills Surveys
    • Game-Based Assessments
    • Performance or Portfolio-Based Assessments
  4. Inspections

This Week in Learning Analytics (December 26, 2014 – January 2, 2015)

Spent the first day of 2015 with the dogs and a helmet cam.
Spent the first day of 2015 with the dogs and a helmet cam.
http://youtu.be/mrvNS6m_N58

HEADLINES

Student Success


Colleges Reinvent Classes to Keep More Students in Science
Richard Pérez-Peña | New York Times | 26 Dec 2014

In the Middle East and North Africa, a Very Gradual Shift Away From Caring Only About Exam Results
The World Bank | 29 Dec 2014

Tennessee’s Largest Public College System Wants to Eliminate Undecided Majors
Emily Siner | Nashville Public Radio | 29 Dec 2014

Government


Bipartisan Bill for Evidence Could Improve Access to Higher Ed Data
Clare McCann & Amy Laitinen | Ed Central | 2 Jan 2015

Bids Submitted for New Data Systems
Paul Shott | Greenwich Time | 26 Dec 2014

RESEARCH

Articles


Big Data in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges
Ben Daniel | British Journal of Educational Technology | 45(6)

Let’s Not Forget: Learning Analytics are About Learning [OPEN ACCESS]
Dragan Gašević, Shane Dawson, George Siemens | Tech Trends | 59(1)

Big Data in Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics
B R Prakash, M. Hanumanthaooa, Vasantha Kavitha | International Journal of Innovation Research in Computer and Communication Engineering | 2(12)

Book Chapters


Mapping Problems to Skills Combining Expert Opinion and Student Data
Juraj Nižnan, Radek Pelánek, Jiří Řihák | Mathematical and Engineering Methods in Computer Science | pp. 113-124

Conference Papers


Linked Data, Data Mining and External Open Data for Better Prediction of At-Risk Students
Farhana Sarker, Thanassis Tiropanis, Hugh C. Davis | 2014 International Conference on Control, Decision and Information Technologies (CoDIT) | 3-5 Nov 2014

OPINIONS

Blogs


Are Libraries Late to the Preventative Analytics Party?
Meredith Farkas | American Libraries | 26 Dec 2014

A Fresh Crop of California Data Privacy Laws
Lei Shen, Julian M. Dibbell | Mayer-Brown | 23 Dec 2014

Editorials


Teacher Hopefuls Go Through Big Data Wringer
Stephanie Simon | Politico | 29 Dec 2014

Colleges’ New Challenge: Keeping Students in School
Kelley Holland | NBC News | 31 Dec 2014