The learning analytics cycle: closing the loop effectively

Clow, Doug (2012). The learning analytics cycle: closing the loop effectively. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge - LAK '12, p. 134.



This paper develops Campbell and Oblinger's five-step model of learning analytics (Capture, Report, Predict, Act, Refine) and other theorisations of the field, and draws on broader educational theory (including Kolb and Schön) to articulate an incrementally more developed, explicit and theoretically-grounded Learning Analytics Cycle.

This cycle conceptualises successful learning analytics work as four linked steps: learners generating data that is used to produce metrics, analytics or visualisations. The key step is 'closing the loop' by feeding back this product to learners through one or more interventions.

This paper seeks to begin to place learning analytics practice on a base of established learning theory, and draws several implications from this theory for the improvement of learning analytics projects. These include speeding up or shortening the cycle so feedback happens more quickly, and widening the audience for feedback (in particular, considering learners and teachers as audiences for analytics) so that it can have a larger impact.

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