Making sense of learning data at scale

Rienties, Bart and Herodotou, Christothea (2022). Making sense of learning data at scale. In: Sharpe, Rhona; Bennett, Sue and Varga-Atkins, Tünde eds. Handbook for Digital Higher Education. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 260–270.



In many higher educational institutions teachers and managers have unprecedented levels of access to data of learners and their learning. In particular during COVID-19 teachers suddenly had to make sense of what their learners were doing away from the classroom. In this chapter we will provide a range of evidence-based guidelines and best-practices based upon implementing online learning and making sense of learning data on a large-scale institutional level. The Open University UK has been implementing learning analytics at scale and has made learning analytics dashboards available to thousands of teachers. How to make sense of these interactive data streams is complex at the best of times, especially in a situation when most teachers are working remotely. We will reflect on our lived experiences of helping teachers to make sense of learning data, and how their voices are essential for senior managers to build powerful data practices.

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