My big question for #DALMOOC

I’m a learning technologist in the UK, where this field has now been renamed Technology Enhanced Learning. One of my favourite questions at the moment is “What is enhanced and how do we know?” (addressed by Kirkwood and Price in this paper – So, I would like to use analytics/big data to help find answers to questions in this area.

As a specific example, my institution is rolling out lecture capture to improve “the quality of the learning and teaching provision for students”. But can the data show us that there are improvements in learning?

Usage data shows us that the recorded lectures are used, but how are they used? Do the lecture recordings encourage students to focus too much on the lecture content rather than reading more widely on the topic? Does the ability to revisit the content of a lecture prevent students building up personal support networks among peers or raising questions with the lecturer? Are the recordings of greater value to those for whom English is not their first language?

To answer these questions requires data from many sources. Is it all available? At the right level of detail? Identifiable to individual students? How can it be gathered and processed? And what are the ethical and legal issues that must be considered?

These are the types of questions that I hope will be answered by the #DALMOOC course.

What question would you like to answer using learning analytics?


2 thoughts on “My big question for #DALMOOC

  1. Calling anything “technology enhanced” makes me laugh, given how many years i have seen education being more like “technology encumbered”! But i think it is truly getting easier to explore the ironic possibility that technology frequently remains a solution in search of a problem. This is ok, and i think your idea to explore the meaning of enhanced is an excellent research question on which to explore new tools, data capture and the process of exploring an idea by using data.

    It strikes me that some of your data capture is about use and engagement, some may be about user “satisfaction”, some may be about the educational effectiveness for groups who have access to captured lectures as opposed to those who do not have such access, and some may be time-based data… which parts of lectures are explored? savoured? used? and why? Is it the technology? or is it the storytelling?

    Good topic, look forward to hearing more!

    • Thanks for the feedback. You’re right – there are so many different aspects to consider. I don’t know whether it’s possible to gather all the data that would help to answer these questions.

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