The power of learning analytics to impact learning and teaching: a critical perspective

BERA EDTECH 2018 | Open University UK | 9th November 2018

Across the globe institutions are exploring the opportunities technology affords to provide a better, more consistent, and more personalised service to their students and stakeholders In particular, the development of learning analytics may empower distance learning institutions to provide near realtime actionable feedback to teachers and students about what the “best” next step in their learning journeys might be. For example, several institutions have started to explore the use of learning analytics dashboards that can display learner and learning behaviour to teachers and instructional designers in order to provide more real-time, or just-in-time support for students. Learning analytics
might provide opportunities for (semi-) automatic personalisation as well as increased flexibility of online provision, while at the same time potentially benefiting from efficiency and retention gains when providing education at scale. Nonetheless, there are several critics towards this learning analytics and data-centred movement. Some critics tend to focus on the perceived dilution of the role of the human teacher as a provider of the personal support role to (semi-) automated support
provisions. In this BERA keynote, I aim to provide a balanced perspectives of the affordances and limitations of learning analytics.

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