Mediating learning with learning analytics technology: guidelines for practice

Farrell, Tracie; Alani, Harith and Mikroyannidis, Alexander (2022). Mediating learning with learning analytics technology: guidelines for practice. Teaching in Higher Education (Early access).



How can we better mediate processes of learning at large institutions? Learning analytics are used primarily in online and blended learning environments to expose patterns in learning behaviour or interaction. They make use of digital traces from virtual learning environments and combine this with other learner data. The goal is to assist both educators and learners in improving their practice. In this work, we apply the concepts of ‘psychological tools’ and more ‘knowledgeable others’ from Lev Vygotsky, and Reuven Feuerstein's model of Mediated Learning Experiences to define prerequisites that learning analytics at scale must reach, in order to be a meaningful tool for mediating learning. We present findings from an in-depth qualitative study with educators and learners at a large, online institution of higher education. We then map insights gained from this study to our model of mediated learning. The resulting analysis and recommendations indicate that we need more inclusive and dedicated practices in learning analytics development, as well as institutional will to create more complex and meaningful tools.

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