Measuring Student Learning Responsibly: A Learning Analytics Perspective with Web 2.0

Measuring Student Learning Responsibly: A Learning Analytics Perspective with Web 2.0

Kam Hou Vat (University of Macau, Macau)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4078-8.ch011
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Abstract

This chapter investigates an ethical mechanism of organizational measurement for student learning that is based on the learning analytics gathered from various learning-related activities over an extended period of time. In the context of today’s Web 2.0, such learning analytics are often collected from an electronic learning environment, such as a Web-based course management system (CMS), providing various tools of interest in scaffolding student learning: blogs, wikis, online forums, RSS, and many other innovative resources to facilitate learning online. This mechanism, intended to be ethically sound, could be considered as an instance of an accountability system typically installed in institutions of higher education and/or secondary schools, serving to gather evidence of student learning in a virtual learning environment involving electronic presence from both teachers and students in the context of learning development. It is understood that today’s university as a higher education institution (HEI) must put in place such an accountability system to measure student college experience, as her sustained commitment to continuous improvement in the quality of student learning; yet, without the context of data analysis, the transformation of any existing accountability infrastructure in support of assessment for student learning could hardly be innovated effectively, especially regarding the productivity and coordination of its staff, both academic and administrative. The question is how innovatively a HEI could establish such an accountability system to measure and assess student learning responsibly by collecting, analyzing, and interpreting student learning analytics designed into their various learning activities.
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Background

The Centre for Teaching and Learning Enhancement (CTLE), as a newly established academic support unit under the Rector’s Office at the author’s affiliated university, is charged with a mission to enhance the quality of teaching, learning, undergraduate research, and assessment through developing specific programs in faculty development and student engagement, so that the University’s goals in elite undergraduate education and holistic student development could be accomplished both at the undergraduate and at the graduate levels in all related curricula of study, including those provided in our residential colleges. The CTLE, just barely over 3-year old, has to serve a current population of about 6000 undergraduates and close to 700 academic members on campus. It has to coordinate per academic year, starting from the school year of 2010-2011, the enactment of the University’s newly installed General Education (GE) program as part of our elite undergraduate education initiative.

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