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  1. Sep 2016
    1. Research: Student data are used to conduct empirical studies designed primarily to advance knowledge in the field, though with the potential to influence institutional practices and interventions. Application: Student data are used to inform changes in institutional practices, programs, or policies, in order to improve student learning and support. Representation: Student data are used to report on the educational experiences and achievements of students to internal and external audiences, in ways that are more extensive and nuanced than the traditional transcript.

      Ha! The Chronicle’s summary framed these categories somewhat differently. Interesting. To me, the “application” part is really about student retention. But maybe that’s a bit of a cynical reading, based on an over-emphasis in the Learning Analytics sphere towards teleological, linear, and insular models of learning. Then, the “representation” part sounds closer to UDL than to learner-driven microcredentials. Both approaches are really interesting and chances are that the report brings them together. Finally, the Chronicle made it sound as though the research implied here were less directed. The mention that it has “the potential to influence institutional practices and interventions” may be strategic, as applied research meant to influence “decision-makers” is more likely to sway them than the type of exploratory research we so badly need.