Identifying Learning Analytics Questions

The fundamental role of Learning Analytics is to answer questions. These questions should provide actionable insights that institutions, teaching staff and students use to drive effective change. Identifying the initial question to be addressed is a key first step as it will dictate every other aspect of the institutional strategy.

This resource is intended to help institutions to review some questions they may wish to begin with as well as some of the data sources that may be used to provide answers. It is divided into questions designed to enable institutional insights, lecturer-facing insights and student-facing insights.

This resource should not be considered an exhaustive list, but rather a high-level guide to some of the popular applications of Learning Analytics. It should also be noted that the data recipes below are not the only means of answering the questions listed, they are merely suggested methods.

Institutions are also reminded that any use of personal data must be fully compliant with the conditions of the GDPR.

EFFect principles (International)

These 10 European Principles for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching were developed by the European Principles for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (EFFECT) Erasmus+ project team. They underpin the need to re-emphasise the education mission of the university. They aim to serve institutional leaders working with staff, students and external stakeholders to ensure the quality, relevance and attractiveness of higher education. More information on this project is available here. The IUA and the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning were partners on this project.

Unishare: Student Relationship Management at UCD

This institutional approach…
…is based in University College Dublin.
…was developed in-house.
…allows for the tracking of student interactions with services, with a view to improving efficiencies and enhancing student experiences.
…helps to inform institutional decision making regarding resource deployment.

CIT Faculty Dashboard

This institutional approach…
…is based in Cork Institute of Technology.
…was developed in-house.
…involved the creation of a dashboard which continuously gathers a range of data to inform institutional decision making.
…has been shown to have considerable strategic value.