Project Resources and Outputs

sharing of resources developed through the project

This page represents a space for the ongoing sharing of resources developed through the project. This includes literature review, research instruments, and presentations. The site will continue to be updated following the formal completion of the project as this is when much of the writing and presentation about specific themes and issues will take place.

Framework and Discussion Questions

Ultimately one of the major points of focus for the project was understanding the impacts of different factors on learning analytics implementation, particularly at the institutional level. Much of the data collected during the project was targeted towards this purpose, and, as the presentations in the National Forum section illustrate the data was a key driver of the overall framework.

One version of each of the framework and discussion questions was presented at the National Forum and this early version can be viewed in the National Forum section of this site. Following the National Forum a series of refinements were made to both the discussion questions and framework, in light of the feedback, the most prominent of which can briefly be summarised as:

  • Institutional context would be better represented as spanning across all domains
  • Culture to be included as an element
  • The concept of ‘sustainability’ should be included in the framework
  • ‘Time’ to be added for training and support for academics to use analytics
  • Student retention being seen a potentially limiting concept that should be replaced by a broader heading of student success and engagement. However, the project was primarily funded to look at student retention. Nevertheless, this feedback echoes Siemens (2012, p. 4) assertion that “a second needed transition is one that moves LA research and implementation from at-risk identification to an emphasis on learner success and optimization”.
  • A suggestion that rather than reflection, the framework include systematic discussion as an interface, as this would help develop impact amongst senior leaders who would then be more likely see this process as constructive and purposeful

The most recent versions can be accessed below.

Download the latest version of the framework
Download the latest version of the discussion questions

Literature Review

During the project a rolling literature review was carried out focusing on linking learning analytics and student retention and considering some of the key issues at the interface of these two areas. It was also apparent from participant responses, the broader literature and practical experience that both student retention and learning analytics exists in a kind of grey area with concepts related to them. In learning analytics case there are educational analytics, academic analytics, educational data mining, as well as business intelligence, all of which are influential in contemporary Higher Education settings. Similarly, student retention occupies a place within the complex area of student success and engagement. The literature review explores some of these tensions and describes how these concepts were interpreted and discussed in this project.

Please note that this literature review will continue to be updated following completion of the project. The version below does not include consideration of papers from the recent LAK2015 conference as the final report and National Forum were the primary tasks being completed during this period. It is expected that the review will be updated to include this latest round of knowledge development by the end of July.

Download the literature review

Research Instruments

As an exploratory project, a mixed method approach was employed to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. This section provides readers with access to the research instruments and accompanying guidance documents for the surveys and interviews.

Institution Level Survey

In chronological order the first data collected from project participants was via the Institution Level Survey, which occurred in the middle of 2014. The primary purpose of the Institution Level Survey was to provide some context about the status of learning analytics implementation at Higher Education institutions, and also to explore the ways in which institutions are currently addressing student retention, especially in systematic or institution wide ways.

The survey was built and hosted using Qualtrics.

Survey Questions

This document presents the questions that comprised the Institution Level Survey.

Download the Institution Level Survey

Survey Guidance

The survey guidance document was provided to assist people with the practicalities and process of completing the online survey. It was available to participants on each page of the survey.

Download the Institution Level Survey Guidance document

Participant Information Sheet

The information sheet represents the information provided to participants to prior to them making a decision about participating in the project.

Download the Institution Level Survey Information Sheet

Academic Level Survey

The Academic Level Survey was conducted between September and November of 2014 and was targeted at academically classified staff who saw their role as having at least some connection to student retention. The survey was intended to explore what role learning analytics was having in the practice of academics and what aspects of learning analytics were of most interest to academics. As it is still early days in terms of widespread awareness of learning analytics across institutions this survey also explored current practices around student retention.

As with the previous survey, the Academic Level Survey was built and hosted using Qualtrics.

Survey Questions

This document presents the questions that comprised the Academic Level Survey.

Download the Academic Level Survey

Survey Guidance

The survey guidance document was provided to assist people with the practicalities and process of completing the online survey. It was available to participants on each page of the survey.

Download the Academic Level Survey Guidance document

Participant Information Sheet

The information sheet represents the information provided to participants to prior to them making a decision about participating in the project.

Download the Academic Level Survey Information Sheet

Interviews

A series of semi-structured interviews were conducted between December 2014 and February 2015 with self-selecting participants who completed the academic level survey. The purpose of the interviews was to expand the narratives around some of the more interesting themes uncovered in the more quantitative aspects of the project. The interviews were also seen as a helpful way of augmenting the presentation of discussion themes in a more personalised way that might resonate with people at different levels in institutions. Ultimately, these stories are seen as invaluable in creating accessible, practical examples of how learning analytics implementation is occurring, what practical changes are taking place and how learning analytics might impact various roles across the sector.

The interviews were semi-structured and the schedule comprised five broad questions:

  1. What are learning analytics to you?
  2. What do you think learning analytics can be used for?
  3. What is your institution currently doing around learning analytics?
  4. What do you currently do in your teaching or work role that you see as directly related to student retention and/or success?
  5. Do you have any other comments?

Presentations and Publications

At present the most comprehensive presentation of the findings can be found in the presentations from the National Forum. These presentation cover most of the broad findings and explore how each of the different sets of data influenced the Framework and Discussion Questions.

Download the presentation document

Over the coming months a series of presentation and papers will be developed focusing in on specific themes and issues raised during the project.