Learning Analytics: Challenges and Opportunities of Using Data Analysis in Education

Learning Analytics: Challenges and Opportunities of Using Data Analysis in Education

Libor Juhaňák (Masaryk University, Czech Republic) and Jiří Zounek (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7473-6.ch003

Abstract

The goal of this chapter is to present and describe a relatively new research field, known as learning analytics, which focuses on use of a wide spectrum of analytical methods and techniques to analyze data coming from educational contexts. The first part of the chapter focuses on the historical context of analytics in education and introduces several research fields that participated in the creation and formation of learning analytics. At the same time, the development of learning analytics and basic related concepts are described in more detail. In the second part, the authors provide an overview of the main research fields and topics within learning analytics, including an overview of commonly used analytical instruments and systems. The final part of the chapter then focuses on challenges currently faced by the field of learning analytics, as well as on opportunities for further development and research within learning analytics in the upcoming years, which are now under development.
Chapter Preview
Top

Background

Discussions about learning analytics as an independent field began at the turn of 2010. In 2010, Siemens published on his blog probably the first definition of analytics, which later became generally accepted by many researchers (cf. Ferguson, 2012a; Chatti et al., 2012; Siemens, 2013). In 2011, the first international conference focused specifically on learning analytics (the 1st International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge) was hosted, and, simultaneously, the Society for Learning Analytics Research was established. In the same year, learning analytics was mentioned for the first time in the annual Horizon Report (Johnson et. al., 2011), and because of that, this field started to gain the wider recognition of experts in the context of e-learning and education in general.

In the following years, significant attention was paid to learning analytics as well. Since 2012, specialized journals have begun to focus on learning analytics as well, and over time several special issues dedicated to this topic were published. Table 1 shows a basic overview of these special issues. In 2014, the first issue of a new journal focusing directly on learning analytics (the Journal of Learning Analytics) was published, as well as a first monograph dedicated specifically to the topic of learning analytics (Larusson & White, 2014). In the following years, other monographs dedicated to the topic of learning analytics were published (e.g. ElAtia, Ipperciel & Zaïane, 2016; Lai & Lehman, 2017; Peña-Ayala, 2017; Sclater, 2017).

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset