Learning analytics dashboards: Understanding the influence of tech in our classrooms

Learning Analytics

Researchers from Monash University have developed a new model for learning

analytics to help developers create better educational technology, following a

systematic literature review of learning analytics dashboards.

 

Over the last several years and with the current COVID-19 pandemic, the role of technology

in educational settings has increased significantly. From the widespread use of learning

management systems to social media, interactive simulations, and learning games, the

growth in technology has propelled the capacity for capturing data.

Despite learning analytics dashboards being frequently developed by education systems and

technology vendors with the goal to support self-regulated learning, there is little

understanding of how the current generation of learning analytics dashboards is equipped to

support the development of self-regulated learning.

In response, researchers from the Faculty of IT at Monash University, in collaboration with

colleagues from the University of Edinburgh and the University of South Australia have

developed a model for a user-centred learning analytics system, consisting of four

dimensions that are interconnected including scientific research of learning and education,

human-centred design, educational feedback, and evaluation.

“This user-centred learning model will emphasise critical properties of self-regulated learning

by focusing on metacognitive, cognitive, affective, and behavioural aspects of learning and

guide the future work of developers, researchers, and adopters, to create better learning

systems,” said lead researcher, Professor Dragan Gasevic from the Faculty of IT.

By conducting an analysis of existing empirical studies about the use of learning analytics

dashboards, Processor Gasevic and his team found that existing learning analytics

dashboards are rarely grounded in recommendations established in educational research.

“Despite the growing adoption of learning analytics dashboards, there are many limitations in

the design of their systems which our research has identified. Particularly, learners find it

hard to interpret the data presented in dashboards and to make use of the feedback

presented in dashboards to inform future learning strategies,” Professor Gasevic said.

The results also showed that learning analytics dashboards cannot be suggested to

empower students to advance the understanding of their own learning. Current learning

analytics dashboards often fail to offer advice to students and teachers on the use of

effective learning tactics and strategies and have significant limitations in how their

evaluation is conducted and reported.

“Another major concern is that the impact of learning dashboards and recommendation

systems on student learning and success is found to be relatively low. Feedback presented

in learning analytics dashboards can also be difficult to translate into a meaningful actionable

recommendation to guide students in their learning,” said Professor Gasevic.

Properly developed learning analytics tools can provide teachers with additional insights into

student learning strategies and also provide students with personalised advice on their

performance.

The value of learning analytics to support the development of self-regulated learning is

voiced by many stakeholders and this is especially relevant in the times of digitalisation in

which policymakers and education leaders recognise skills for self-regulated learning as

essential for the future of life and work.

To read the research paper, please visit: https://bit.ly/2ZfPDNa

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Education Technology Solutions
Education Technology Solutions has been created to inspire and encourage the use of technology in education. Through its content, Education Technology Solutions seeks to showcase cutting edge products and practices with a view to expanding the boundaries and raising the standards of education curricula. It introduces teachers and IT staff to the latest products, services and developments in education technology with a view to providing practical how-to guidance designed to facilitate the integration of those products and services into the school environment in the most productive and beneficial manner possible.
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