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Article

Learning analytics: challenges and limitations

Citation
Wilson A, Watson C, Thompson TL, Drew V & Doyle S (2017) Learning analytics: challenges and limitations. Teaching in Higher Education, 22 (8), pp. 991-1007. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2017.1332026

Abstract
Learning analytic implementations are increasingly being included in learning management systems in higher education. We lay out some concerns with the way learning analytics – both data and algorithms – are often presented within an unproblematized Big Data discourse. We describe some potential problems with the often implicit assumptions about learning and learners – and indeed the tendency not to theorize learning explicitly – that underpin such implementations. Finally, we describe an attempt to devise our own analytics, grounded in a sociomaterial conception of learning. We use the data obtained to suggest that the relationships between learning and the digital traces left by participants in online learning are far from trivial, and that any analytics that relies on these as proxies for learning tends towards a behaviorist evaluation of learning processes.

Keywords
Learning analytics; Big Data; sociomaterial; professional learning

Journal
Teaching in Higher Education: Volume 22, Issue 8

StatusPublished
Author(s)Wilson, Anna; Watson, Cate; Thompson, Terrie Lynn; Drew, Valerie; Doyle, Sarah
Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online24/05/2017
Date accepted by journal10/05/2017
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/25410
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN1356-2517
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