Learning Analytics for the Academic:
An Action Perspective

Alan Dix1,2, Justin Leavesley1

1 Talis, Birmingham, UK
2 School of Computer Science, Universty of Birmingham

Published in Journal of Universal Computer Science (JUCS), Special Issue on Learning Analytics, January 2015

Download draft paper (PDF, 590K)


If learning analytics are to directly benefit students' learning rather than simply inform broad policy decisions, they must be used by academics in the midst of busy and fragmented lives.   This paper takes an ecological or action-oriented perspective of the use of learning analytics in higher education, drawing on research sources in psychology, human-computer interaction and visual analytics.  We unpack the circumstances during the learning interactions of academics with course materials and students where analytics could trigger or influence action.  This leads to a framework based around different academic timescales, and the strategies for synchronising the recognition of need with the potential for execution of teaching and learning interventions.

Keywords:Learning analytics, teaching analytics, action, human–computer interaction, embodiment, learning support


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Figure 1: "The human context of visual analytics" (from [Dix et al. 11])
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Figure 2: Learning resource lifecycle: actors, agents and events
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Figure 3: Drivers and capabilities for analytics-driven academic action
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Alan Dix 10/1/2015