How would you go about completely transforming the world of education as we know it, by (literally, and figuratively) tearing down classroom walls, encouraging educators to quit the in-class lecture-style teaching methods they’re used to, and have them assist online learning without causing an outrage? Show them the learning data that proves how well it works.
Traditional Teaching Methods Don’t Always Work
“Learning analytics” has generated a big buzz in the education space in recent years. Combined with online learning, it has the potential to completely revolutionize how students learn, and how we assess learning progress. Traditional education tools used to assess learners include in-class assignments, quizzes, tests, term papers, and report cards. Using these tools, we assume that if Maria got an A+, and Jesse got a C-, Maria has learned more than Jesse, and is therefore smarter than Jesse.
The progress we have made in the eduaction world in recent years, is understanding that traditional assessments are not always reliable measures of intelligence, or knowledge retention. Getting an A+ on a test doesn’t necessarily mean that Maria knows more than Jesse, it may just mean that Maria is better at memorizing information.
The Learning Analytics Revolution
Here’s an analogy. An organization uses Google Analytics to track the number of website visitors, as well as their activity/behaviour, and then uses that data to adjust the design, content, and functionality of their website to match the needs derived from behaviour. Learning Analytics can be used in the same way – in conjunction with online learning, learning analytics can track the behavior of learners, and use that learning data to make adjustments to the design, content, and functionality of their learning programs.
With mountains of learning data at our disposal and an easy way to visualize it, we can make big changes to an education system that still turns out large numbers of folks who undervalue their intelligence based on their test scores.
What Impact will Learning Analytics have on the Learning Process?
Not convinced that Learning Analytics will transform the education world? Here’s a few reasons why it’s important.
- Learning analytics can be predictive. By providing you with insight into how learners are doing in their courses, you can make informed decisions to change your eLearning programs to best accommodate different learner needs, so they can achieve future success.
- Learning analytics enables personalized learning. Using the individual learner data, you can see what aspects of learning are working, and which aspects they are struggling with. By identifying gaps, you can provide any supplemental resources that each needs to help them overcome their challenges.
- Learning analyrtics improves learner retention. With an eLearning program that has been personalized for each individual learner to help them succeed, it’s more likely that they will retain the knowledge, and be actively engaged in the learning material. This leaves you with engaged, successful, happy students.