Thursday, February 28, 2013

2013: The Year of Educational Data and Learning Analytics?

According to the 2012 Horizon Report, "learning analytics" refers to:
the interpretation of a wide range of data produced by and gathered on behalf of students in order to assess academic progress, predict future performance, and spot potential issues.
Data are collected from explicit student actions, such as completing assignments and taking exams, and from tacit actions, including online social interactions, extracurricular activities, posts on discussion forums, and other activities that are not directly assessed as part of the student’s educational progress.
The goal of learning analytics is to enable teachers and schools to tailor educational opportunities to each student’s level of need and ability. Learning analytics promises to harness the power of advances in data mining, interpretation, and modeling to improve understandings of teaching and learning, and to tailor education to individual students more effectively. Still in its early stages, learning analytics responds to calls for accountability on campuses and leverages the vast amount of data produced by students in academic activities.
So basically, what counts as "Education Data? What about the political aspects of the data and the business of the data and learning analytics? Who really owns the data?

Audrey Watters tries to answer those questions in the Hack Education post entitled, "Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012: Education Data and Learning Analytics." Again, we aren't endorsing Watter's opinions, but we hope her post will spark a discussion as there are a lot of decisions to be made concerning educational data and it's predictive benefit and value.

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