Learning Analytics Projects

Learning analytics continues to gain interest and demonstrate value in higher education. A variety of approaches have been piloted on campus over the past decade. Opportunities continue to arise with the university’s migration to Badger Analytics, our participation in the Unizin Consortium and a new institutional data policy. The Learning Analytics Center of Excellence collaborates with the Data Empowered Educational Practices (DEEP) Executive Committee, the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning and others on the following learning analytics projects. Close collaboration with stakeholders is a central component of our project approach. 

Participatory Design Process

Learning analytics is a complex organizational change process, and involves work across the domains of technology, culture, process/workflow and policy. Various stakeholders have different needs and interests. We use a participatory design process to engage with stakeholders, and keep circling back to get feedback while exploring possible approaches and tools. We explore consortium and vendor tools and also create custom solutions. Whether we’re working with instructors, advisors or students, our process is similar.

Learner Engagement Analytics Dashboard (LEAD)

Planning and design for the course-level dashboard began in early 2018 with a series of faculty interviews and discussions, to obtain direct feedback about instructor analytics needs. The dashboard has been available enterprise wide since the fall of 2020, and includes three visualizations in Tableau:

  • Heat Map: Shows when students are active in the course
  • Scatter Plot: Maps grades and number of page views
  • Activity in the Course: Displays both duration and number of logins

LEAD aggregates data from Canvas, Kaltura MediaSpace, and Unizin Engage e-text. This unique view allows instructors to see behavioral data about student activity in their courses, and provides unique insights. 

Learner Activity View for Advisors (LAVA)

Currently in the pilot stage, the Learner Activity View for Advisors (LAVA) is a course-level learning analytics dashboard that displays Canvas, Kaltura Mediaspace, and Unizin Engage eText data to academic advisors through a table and three visualizations. LAVA provides aggregate information about how a student is engaging, participating, and performing in online activities in a course.  

LAVA was piloted during the fall of 2021, after a year-long process of engaging with advisors, designing a prototype and building a minimal viable product, based on advisors’ needs. Another LAVA pilot is planned for the academic year 2023.  

Student Engagement

Students are interested in seeing data and leveraging learning analytics. They’ve recently experienced a plethora of online instructional approaches and tools, and are aware that every digital encounter creates data. Planning for student engagement was initially paused with the onset of the pandemic in spring 2020; however student engagement began in the spring of 2021 with focus groups, and then again in spring of 2022 when surveys and feedback sessions occurred. Students are already using available (minimal) data from campus-supported tools and are leveraging other external resources. They want to explore more tools, approaches and visualizations to support their learning. A student-facing tool will be piloted in the near future.