Data Changes Everything - An Investigation Into The Acceptance Of Learning Analytics To Support Student Success

Brooks, Nicola Jane (2020). Data Changes Everything - An Investigation Into The Acceptance Of Learning Analytics To Support Student Success. EdD thesis The Open University.



The development and implementation of learning analytics as a mechanism to support student success has been an emerging trend within Higher Education. Previous research identifies that learning analytics is an innovative educational development but recognises that little attention has been paid to evaluating its effectiveness or pedagogic usefulness. Researchers recognise that learning analytics is a new field in need of further research to aid its credibility within the educational arena. This research study provides a better understanding of learning analytics to support student success through the examination of opportunities and challenges of learning analytics from a multi-stakeholder perspective. This study also demonstrates how learning analytics can be successfully implemented within Higher Education.

Through an interpretivist paradigm, this cross-sectional research study captures the unique experiences of students, academic staff and learning analytics experts. Data collected through twelve semi-structured interviews and three student focus groups enabled the researcher to gather a broad understanding of learning analytics from those involved and provides an holistic portrayal from this cultural group.

The main findings of this study suggest that learning analytics need to have a clear context and purpose within Higher Education to ensure successful development, effectiveness and pedagogic usefulness. Effective organisational change, culture, academic and student engagement, ownership and motivation are paramount. Findings also indicate disparities in the implementation of learning analytics within Higher Education, which require resolution to ensure success, and there is some discussion about how challenges can be overcome to ensure effective institutional adoption and student success.

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