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Placing the Learner at the Centre of Learning Analytics

Placing the Learner at the Centre of Learning Analytics

The interaction and interface design of Learning Analytics (LA) systems is often based upon the ability of the developer to extract information from disparate sources and not on the types of data and interpretive needs of the user. Current systems also tend to focus on the educator’s view and very rarely involve students in the development process. We have used a User Centred Design (UCD) approach with a group of 82 second year Computer Science students to design LA interfaces (in the form of Dashboards) that will engage and motivate them as learners and personalise their own learning experience. A preliminary thematic analysis has suggested that their understanding of LA and their requirements for it are often formed by the limitations of the technologies and systems that they currently use within and outside of the University. We have found however that learners want to be able to access an overarching view of their previous, current and future learning activity e.g. in a timeline. We propose that the only way of truly creating a personalised, supportive system of education is to place the learner at the centre, giving them control of their own Learner Analytics.

Presented at #KALTC17 https://www.keele.ac.uk/lpdc/learningteaching/keelelearningandteachingconference/

Ed de Quincey

January 17, 2017

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  1. Placing the learner at the centre of learning analytics Dr

    Ed de Quincey, Dr Mark Turner, Dr Theo Kyriacou, Dr Nikki Williams School of Computing and Mathematics, Keele University Photo by GotCredit www.gotcredit.com

    MEASURED BY ASSESSMENT Photo by Alberto G. https://www.flickr.com/photos/albertogp123/5843577306

    Photos by Cropbot https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lecture_hall#/media/File:5th_Floor_Lecture_Hall.jpg See-ming Lee https://www.flickr.com/photos/seeminglee/4556156477
  4. Learning Analytics has been defined as a method for “deciphering

    trends and patterns from educational big data … to further the advancement of a personalized, supportive system of higher education.” (Johnson et al., 2013) Co-authorship network map of physicians publishing on hepatitis C (detail) Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/speedoflife/8274993170/

  6. WP1. KLE Data Review A review of activity log data

    that are currently available via the KLE. ✓ ✖
  7. WP1. KLE Data Review ✓ ✖ • Inconsistent formats •

    Reports take a long time to run • No way to bulk download all “raw” data • Single Course User Participation Report is the most useful BUT have to run for each student Around 11 “reports” available 9 Course Reports, a Performance Dashboard and a Retention Centre
  8. Review of Existing Systems Few systems available for general use

    ✖ Primarily targeted at educators. Only 5 of the 22 systems being designed purely for use by students Only 4 of the studies gathered the requirements for the systems directly from users Currently analysing visualisation techniques used and types/sources of data used
  9. “Jisc is hosting an event in February where we’ll bring

    together people from universities and colleges across the UK to look at what they think can and should be provided to students directly.” December, 2014 “What data and analytics should be presented directly to students? This was the subject of a workshop on 27th Feb in Jisc’s London offices, attended by staff from across UK higher education. We also had with us a couple of students with a keen interest in the area … In advance of the meeting members of Jisc’s Student App Expert Group had anonymously provided a range of potential requirements, which I then grouped and used as the basis for the workshop.” March, 2015 Effective Learning Analytics Using data and analytics to support students https://analytics.jiscinvolve.org/
  10. “I’m now carrying out sessions directly with students to find

    out what they would find most useful… The students were from a variety of levels and backgrounds, ranging from engineering to drama.” April 29, 2015 Effective Learning Analytics Using data and analytics to support students https://analytics.jiscinvolve.org/
  11. “A major influence on our thinking is the use of

    fitness apps such as MapMyRide and Google Fit: some of us are already avid users of these technologies. To emulate their addictive qualities in an app for learning is one of our aims.” https://analytics.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2015/08/21/student-app-for-learning-analytics-functionality-and-wireframes/
  12. “About half of the respondents (427/934, 45.7%) had stopped using

    some health apps, primarily due to high data entry burden, loss of interest, and hidden costs.”
  13. WP3. Requirements Gathering Set as Coursework Case Study 2nd Year

    Computing Module | 84 students in 14 groups “You have been tasked with developing a learning analytics dashboard that would be expected to display relevant indicators of engagement with modules, considering data already being collected, but also new data that could easily be collected. You have been given an initial set of broad requirements but now must expand upon these and formalise them using the techniques covered during the module. The dashboard for students should encourage engagement.”
  14. WP3. Requirements Gathering Preliminary results from Thematic Analysis of key

    features students said the dashboard should include: Students want an overview of their activity/learning i.e. everything one place Comparison to average seems important Common metaphor was a timeline/calendar i.e. students wanting a way of showing their progress against deadlines Common functionality was support for (Instant) Messaging/ Discussion
  15. 'My Timeline': Past events which have been completed successfully provide

    gratification to the user in the form of positive icons such as thumbs up or smiley faces. The past timeline balances with the upcoming events to try and alleviate future workload stress by demonstrating positive success at the same time.
  16. Digital Synchable Diary: The diary can be edited and synced

    to various devices; A countdown system to exams and assignments; The ability for students to set priorities to set work.
  17. Course/Module Progress Bar: a progress bar based upon the how

    far in the course users are. Indicating how much of the course they should know and how much time is left until the course finishes.
  18. Score Indicator: The score indicator is a metric derived from

    an algorithm which would track a student’s engagement with course materials and other important areas of engagement that students should be utilising (comments, discussion).
  19. Comparison with peers: The chance for the user to see

    how they are comparing with the top 20% of the class and how they are doing compared with the average mark.
  20. Goals and Trophies: The student will get a list of

    goals or tasks sent to their dashboard and there they can also add more tasks of their own.
  21. News Feed: An aggregated news feed is a pattern followed

    on many major platforms, and provides a intuitive way to group content into a digestible stream of information from multiple sources (modules).
  22. Did we find agreement with the 6 Jisc principles? •

    Comparative ✓ • Social ✓ • Gamified ✓ • Private by default (✓) • Usable standalone x Seen as part of the VLE • Uncluttered (✓) VLE’s have poor usability Effective Learning Analytics Using data and analytics to support students https://analytics.jiscinvolve.org/ https://analytics.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2015/08/21/student-app-for-learning-analytics-functionality-and-wireframes/
  23. “The average user interface has some 40 flaws. Correcting the

    easiest 20 of these yields an average improvement in usability of 50%. The big win, however, occurs when usability is factored in from the beginning. This can yield efficiency improvements of over 700%.” (Landauer, 1995) ©CollegeDegrees360 via Flickr
  24. “The cost of poor usability is high. It includes unsatisfied,

    ineffective learners and ineffective e-learning initiatives. Learners who find an e-learning program hard to use might: • Carry out their task reluctantly • Be confused about the learning exercise • Fail to engage with the e-learning, possibly abandon the e-learning completely, fail to learn or retain knowledge.” (Abedour and Smith, 2006) ©CollegeDegrees360 via Flickr
  25. HEFCE Catalyst Grant £99,790 (£49,988 from Catalyst Fund, £49,802 in

    matched funding from Keele) Title: Learner Centred Design for Learning Analytics This project aims to avoid the common problem in Learning Analytics (LA) of the technology and data driving the user experience, and therefore the ability to interpret and use the information. By sharing the data directly with students, using student-centred representations of their learning activity, this project aims to facilitate a common understanding of the learning experience between lecturers and students. Expanding on a successful teaching innovation project at Keele University interface metaphors for LA will be identified that motivate and personalise the learning experience of cohorts with differing levels of technical experience and levels of digital literacy. We will then produce appropriate visualisations of student activity based on the data available at Keele University and incorporate them into the delivery of relevant modules with the key aims of increasing engagement, making the VLE a more active space for learning and teaching and bridging the current gap between physical and digital spaces.