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Transforming learning through analytics

Data, big data, analytics, and visualization are significant trends in education. We need to pay attention. There is much to be alarmed about with analytics, including the mechanization of teaching, learning, and assessment. Additionally, the data and analytics that are easy to collect and conduct risk becoming a simple veneer over the complexities of learning and cognition. Or, as Gardner Campbell states: “Current NGLC/NCLB paradigms create great risk of analytics-generated edu-hell.”

Analytics also hold promise for providing increased quality of learning for individuals. We experience benefits of analytics in many areas of our lives, including music, books, and social network friend recommendations. My interest in learning analytics, however, doesn’t blind me to potential risks. We should be concerned and alert as analytics discussions turn to education. Learners are not widgets to be optimized and shifted around in assembly lines. By the same account, analytics can yield value in improving learner success in the current education system, and, more critically, providing perspectives on how we should improve the system itself. The slides below are from a presentation I delivered at EDUCAUSE 2011:

One Comment

  1. Ryan Tracey wrote:

    Thanks for sharing your slides, George.

    I agree with you that while there is much to be alarmed about with analytics, they are also an important resource for improving the effectiveness of learning.

    I have written recently about assumptions I myself and other people have had, and how the evidence has uncovered a different reality: I stand corrected http://wp.me/pf1R0-143 & Facts are a bitch http://wp.me/pf1R0-11N

    In the education space, good data is vital.

    Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink