Learning analytics is a field concerned with ‘the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts’. This implies a quantitative approach. However, it has become increasingly clear that ‘understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs’ also requires qualitative approaches.
Qualitative approaches can be used to understand why learners and teachers act as they do, to explain their decisions, to explore the importance of context for learning analytics, and to increase the value of learning analytics tools and methods.
This tutorial is intended for participants who have little experience of qualitative research and would like to explore how it can be used in the context of learning analytics.
When you have successfully completed this tutorial, you will have developed your ability to:
decide when and why to use qualitative approaches in learning analytics research
design a qualitative research study
analyse qualitative data
establish the trustworthiness of qualitative research.