How to Use Learning Analytics

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Technology has earned its place in every sphere of our lives. Yes, computers are an integral part of healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and, naturally, education. While the role of devices in other industries is relatively clear (e.g., big data is used in manufacturing to predict machine failures), technology in education has not shown its full potential yet.

Today, we will try to understand how technology can help in the studying process, discover the notion of learning analytics, and see what it is and how it can hone the studying process. Let’s dive in!

Before You Start

Learning analytics is an advanced tool that is yet to show its importance. However, simpler tools can also be successfully used in education. For instance, service, which is available online, can help you boost your results and save you time. Hundreds of professional writers work for this platform and are ready to prepare a quality and plagiarism-free paper for you.

Such tools as Trello, Quizlet, Notion, and others can also help a lot during your studies. So, do not worry that learning analytics is not widely used for now. Firstly, it will be shortly, and secondly, a wide array of services based on advanced technology are available online now.

But the question remains – what is learning analytics? Let’s find out.

What Is Learning Analytics?

Learning analytics lies on the border of big data and the usual quantitative method in education. It is used to understand students and their environments to improve the outcomes of the learning process. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?

However, in reality, learning analytics comes hand in hand with some challenges. For instance, collected data exists in a wide variety of different formats. Thus, this data needs to be transformed to be used further.

Also, analysts need to understand what students know clearly and how they know it.

Despite all these challenges, learning analytics is a viable option for educational process improvement.

How to Use Learning Analytics?

Learning analytics can be used for a wide range of reasons. For instance, it can help measure students’ growth, support their development, see which of them risk failing a course, etc. As a result, the tool helps make informed decisions on the curriculum and improve teaching practices.

It is hardly possible to evaluate academic results based on assignments only. And here is why:

  • all students are different, and it is wrong to assess them all with the one test;
  • factors such as test anxiety, hunger, thirst, and many others can significantly influence the results.

So, teachers need a more advanced tool to assess students’ success. The data provided by the thorough analysis enables one to see certain patterns, which can then be used to improve the educational process and its outcomes. Due to learning analytics, educators can develop a truly effective teaching plan.

For example, teachers can figure out if a certain topic needs to be revised to make it simpler for students. Now, let’s view some more instances when learning analytics can be helpful.

How Can Learning Analytics Enhance the Studying Process?

Tracking Academically Weak Individuals

The detailed analysis of each student’s performance helps teachers see what students fail in their classes (cannot stick to deadlines, require multiple attempts to pass, need more time to master the learning material, etc.)

With this information, you, as a teacher, will be able to dedicate some extra attention to these students and help them score better.

Remember, sometimes students get overwhelmed with the amount of information they have to learn, and it gets nearly impossible for them to study. They just need more time, and it is OK. Your task is to see who really requires more time and who is just not that interested in your course.

Redesigning a Course According to Students’ Needs

If an analytics report shows that students find a certain topic difficult to master, teachers can redesign the course module. For instance, Moodle courses, available online, are also very easy to update.

However, this does not mean that you change the course every time your students find it difficult to understand the material. You should also analyze your teaching methods that accompany the course and, perhaps, adjust them if necessary.

Providing Custom Lesson Plans

Here is another case when learning analytics comes in handy. The report can show you the learning pattern of each student. Thus, you can provide custom-made lesson plans for individuals with different learning capacities. These plans are based on data, so they imply students’ individual strengths and weaknesses.

By doing so, you can ensure that all your students are encouraged to learn as well as they can.

Measuring Students’ Engagement

The time your students spend on your course shows how engaging the content is. With learning analytics, you can get insights into the time spent by each student.

To prevent miscalculations, the analytic tool calculates the time that students have been active on the course in Moodle or another platform.

Wrapping Up

Learning analytics based on data can really change education as we know it. However, you shouldn’t forget that the data itself does not influence the learning experience. The teacher’s responsiveness and willingness to adapt to meet the needs of students make the actual change.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.