24 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. Mount St. Mary’s use of predictive analytics to encourage at-risk students to drop out to elevate the retention rate reveals how analytics can be abused without student knowledge and consent

      Wow. Not that we need such an extreme case to shed light on the perverse incentives at stake in Learning Analytics, but this surely made readers react. On the other hand, there’s a lot more to be said about retention policies. People often act as though they were essential to learning. Retention is important to the institution but are we treating drop-outs as escapees? One learner in my class (whose major is criminology) was describing the similarities between schools and prisons. It can be hard to dissipate this notion when leaving an institution is perceived as a big failure of that institution. (Plus, Learning Analytics can really feel like the Panopticon.) Some comments about drop-outs make it sound like they got no learning done. Meanwhile, some entrepreneurs are encouraging students to leave institutions or to not enroll in the first place. Going back to that important question by @sarahfr: why do people go to university?

  2. Oct 2017
  3. Aug 2017
    1. This has much in common with a customer relationship management system and facilitates the workflow around interventions as well as various visualisations.  It’s unclear how the at risk metric is calculated but a more sophisticated predictive analytics engine might help in this regard.

      Have yet to notice much discussion of the relationships between SIS (Student Information Systems), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), and LMS (Learning Management Systems).

  4. Nov 2016
  5. Oct 2016
    1. Devices connected to the cloud allow professors to gather data on their students and then determine which ones need the most individual attention and care.
    1. For G Suite users in primary/secondary (K-12) schools, Google does not use any user personal information (or any information associated with a Google Account) to target ads.

      In other words, Google does use everyone’s information (Data as New Oil) and can use such things to target ads in Higher Education.

  6. Sep 2016
    1. Data sharing over open-source platforms can create ambiguous rules about data ownership and publication authorship, or raise concerns about data misuse by others, thus discouraging liberal sharing of data.

      Surprising mention of “open-source platforms”, here. Doesn’t sound like these issues are absent from proprietary platforms. Maybe they mean non-institutional platforms (say, social media), where these issues are really pressing. But the wording is quite strange if that is the case.

    2. Activities such as time spent on task and discussion board interactions are at the forefront of research.

      Really? These aren’t uncontroversial, to say the least. For instance, discussion board interactions often call for careful, mixed-method work with an eye to preventing instructor effect and confirmation bias. “Time on task” is almost a codeword for distinctions between models of learning. Research in cognitive science gives very nuanced value to “time spent on task” while the Malcolm Gladwells of the world usurp some research results. A major insight behind Competency-Based Education is that it can allow for some variance in terms of “time on task”. So it’s kind of surprising that this summary puts those two things to the fore.

    3. 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.

    1. often private companies whose technologies power the systems universities use for predictive analytics and adaptive courseware
    2. the use of data in scholarly research about student learning; the use of data in systems like the admissions process or predictive-analytics programs that colleges use to spot students who should be referred to an academic counselor; and the ways colleges should treat nontraditional transcript data, alternative credentials, and other forms of documentation about students’ activities, such as badges, that recognize them for nonacademic skills.

      Useful breakdown. Research, predictive models, and recognition are quite distinct from one another and the approaches to data that they imply are quite different. In a way, the “personalized learning” model at the core of the second topic is close to the Big Data attitude (collect all the things and sense will come through eventually) with corresponding ethical problems. Through projects vary greatly, research has a much more solid base in both ethics and epistemology than the kind of Big Data approach used by technocentric outlets. The part about recognition, though, opens the most interesting door. Microcredentials and badges are a part of a broader picture. The data shared in those cases need not be so comprehensive and learners have a lot of agency in the matter. In fact, when then-Ashoka Charles Tsai interviewed Mozilla executive director Mark Surman about badges, the message was quite clear: badges are a way to rethink education as a learner-driven “create your own path” adventure. The contrast between the three models reveals a lot. From the abstract world of research, to the top-down models of Minority Report-style predictive educating, all the way to a form of heutagogy. Lots to chew on.

  7. Jul 2016
    1. what do we do with that information?

      Interestingly enough, a lot of teachers either don’t know that such data might be available or perceive very little value in monitoring learners in such a way. But a lot of this can be negotiated with learners themselves.

    2. E-texts could record how much time is spent in textbook study. All such data could be accessed by the LMS or various other applications for use in analytics for faculty and students.”
    3. not as a way to monitor and regulate
    1. Data collection on students should be considered a joint venture, with all parties — students, parents, instructors, administrators — on the same page about how the information is being used.
  8. May 2016
    1. The entirely quantitative methods and variables employed by Academic Analytics -- a corporation intruding upon academic freedom, peer evaluation and shared governance -- hardly capture the range and quality of scholarly inquiry, while utterly ignoring the teaching, service and civic engagement that faculty perform,
  9. Apr 2016
  10. Mar 2016
  11. Dec 2015