I am Professor of Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK. I joined IET in January 2014, initially as Reader in Learning Analytics. Previously I worked at University of Surrey from 2010-213 as (senior) lecturer in higher education, and before that in various roles from 2000-2010 at Maastricht University. My main research interests are related to Learning Analytics, Learning Design, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and Professional Development. Also I am interested in broader internationalisation aspects of higher education.
Bart has over twenty years of experience in designing, researching and evaluating blended and online learning programmes in higher education and professional learning. Bart is Professor of Learning Analytics and programme director of the learning analytics and learning design research programme at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK. As programme director he leads a group of academics who provide university-wide learning analytics and learning design solutions and conduct evidence-based research of how students and professionals learn. Over the last 20 years he has successfully led a range of institutional/national/European projects, and has received a range of awards for his educational innovation projects. These projects include a range of EU projects (AIT, Evaluate, LACE, LEAP, Teach 4.0), ESRC IDEAS, Leverhulme Open World Learning, and OFS Learning Gains, which focussed on learning analytics, evidence-based evaluations, and large-scale adoptions of innovation. Furthermore, he is programme lead of the learning analytics and learning design research theme within IET.
Bart conducts multi-disciplinary research on work-based and collaborative learning environments and focuses on the role of social interaction in learning, which is published in leading academic journals and books. His primary research interests are focussed on Learning Analytics, Professional Development, and the role of motivation in learning. Furthermore, Bart is interested in broader internationalisation aspects of higher education. He has published over 200 academic outputs, and is the 4th most cited author and contributor in Learning Analytics in the period 2011-2018 (Adeniji, 2019), the 5th most published author on internationalisation in the period 1900-2018 (Jing et al. 2020), the 7th most published author on social network analysis in social sciences in the period 1999-2018 (Su et al. 2020), and the 14th most published author on educational technology in the period 2015-2018 (West & Bodily, 2020).
He is Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and is visiting professor at University of Dundee.
England Seeks to Measure Learning
Bart Rienties, a reader in learning analytics at the Open University, a distance learning institution, said the project primarily relies on analysis of data already being collected by his university and the other two institutions in the project, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Surrey.
Inside Higher Ed | 9th September 2016
International students: universities must lead fight against intolerance of migrants
What happens when the president of the world’s leading superpower makes inflammatory comments about immigrants and wins an election based largely on a racist and nationalist platform? As we’ve seen over the past two years, his followers feel emboldened and righteous in their discrimination against immigrants, despite their hopes, ambitions and rich personal histories.
The Conversation | 11th December 2018
Interview with Bart Rienties
The learning analytics expert discusses the potential of his research, his victory at the World Transplant Games, and what the Dutch can teach us about life
Times Higher Education | 29th March 2018
OU algorithm for monitoring online student engagement
An algorithm developed by the OU, which monitors the online engagement of students, is discussed in this article about how universities are using the personal data of students. Leading to a better understanding of study behaviour, it will enable the OU to provide students with more tailored and effective support. Dr. Bart Rienties, IET, is quoted in the article.
Financial Times | 24th July 2015
Student satisfaction ‘unrelated’ to academic performance
Open University study finds that, while students dislike collaborative learning, they are more likely to pass if they take part in it
Times Higher Education | 12th February 2018
Teaching intelligence: how to use learning analytics
According to Bart Rienties, professor of learning analytics at the Open University, tutors armed with insights from learning analytics must be very tactful in dealing with students. He advises tutors to keep things fairly general, rather than pointing the finger at the student. “What people always underestimate [about learning analytics] is the people aspect; no matter how good the data system…
Times Higher Education | 15th November 2018
Universities are tracking their students. Is it clever or creepy?
Bart Rienties, Reader in Learning Analytics, discusses how the OU is trying to understand how students learn by analytics. He was part of a study at the OU looking at both drop-out rates and how studying online activity can indicate academic performance.
The Guardian | 3rd August 2016
Weighing up the benefits of learning
Bart Rienties, professor of learning analytics at the Open University, said the big problem with measuring learning gain was the burden it placed on students. To avoid this, he advocated that institutions “become smarter” about mining their existing data sets and using learning analytics to help under-performing students as well as high achievers. “Every institution should be passionate about enhancing the quality of its teaching”
Times Higher Education | 1st February 2018
Best Full Paper HCI 2017
Best paper award for Nguyen, Q., Rienties, B., & Toetenel, L. (2017). Mixing and Matching Learning Design and Learning Analytics. Paper presented at the HCI Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Springer, pp. 302-316.
Best full paper ICSE 2015
Best paper award for Tempelaar, D. T., Rienties, B., Giesbers, B. (2015). Stability and sensitivity of Learning Analytics based prediction models. Proceedings of 7th International conference on Computer Supported Education, Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 156-166.
Best Full Paper LAK 2018
Best paper award for Nguyen, Q., Huptych, M., Rienties, B. (2018). Linking students’ timing of engagement to learning design and academic performance: A longitudinal study. Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK’18), Sydney, Australia, pp. 141-150
Best paper award CELDA 2019
Best paper award for Tempelaar, D., Nguyen, Q., Rienties, B., (2019). Learning engagement, learning outcomes and learning gains: lessons from LA. Paper presented at the 16th International Conference Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age 2019 (CELDA), Cagliari, Italy.
Open Education Excellence for Leverhulme Open World Learning PhD programme
Award for Open Education Excellence for Leverhulme Open World Learning PhD programme, Open Education Consortium
Paul Webley Award for Innovation in International Education for UKCISA project STRIDE
Social Support through Transitions: A Student-Led and Cross-Institutional Investigation of International Postgraduate Student Experiences
- Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy