Big Data and learning analytics

Welcome to the student page on Big Data and learning analytics, one of the projects of the BILT Student Fellows. Here you can discover the findings of the research on the use of learning analytics at the University of Bristol. The main focus of the project was to capture student voices on the use of learning analytics. It is the students’ data which is used by learning analytics and therefore students should have a say when it comes to implementing learning analytics projects at the University of Bristol. The report, which summarises the work, can be downloaded here.

Some findings of the project will also be shown on this page:

A workshop on what student data the university should use
In early April, the BILT Student Fellows held workshops and activities for the Student Union’s Education Forum, in which over 40 students from across the university attended. The workshop concerned learning analytics and aimed to find out, if a relatively small group of students could agree on a common policy for data processing. The interesting question was, whether all students in the group could agree to include or exclude certain data sets for the purposes of learning analytics.

8 groups of students (maximum 7 people per group) had to decide if the University should or should not include various metrics when it processes student data to improve the university life. The metrics were written on flashcards and contained different data sets:

The groups had to decide collectively and only allocate a certain data metric to either “Yes” or “No” if all the members of the group agreed. After 10 minutes the time ended, and students were asked to reflect on the task.  The following graphic shows the results. For more information check out the report on learning analytics.

The graphic below reflects a small collection of how students responded to the task:

A questionnaire on learning analytics dashboards
Two of the BILT Student Fellows ran a pedagogical pub quiz in early May in which the roughly 45 participants were also asked to fill a questionnaire on the use of learning analytics in practice. The aim of this questionnaire was to find out what students think when they are confronted with various learning analytics dashboards, which use and analyse student data and present certain results visually. The questionnaire can be downloaded here:

How would you answer the questions? Compare your answers with the graphics below:

And this is how students reacted to the questions concerning the dashboards:

In the last question I wanted to know, whether students think that showing student data visually can be useful for academic progress. The evaluation of the questionnaire showed a quite clear result:

The research was definitely challenging but also exciting and fun! A big thanks to the amazing BILT Team for giving the Student Fellows this great opportunity!