Analytics lab: teaching quality benchmarks

Exciting new Jisc Learning Analytics opportunity

At our most recent network event in Edinburgh, Michael Webb and I introduced ‘Learning Analytics Labs’. An experiment to see whether we can use selected learning analytics data to improve mandatory data returns and performance metrics. This is your opportunity to get involved in an initial exploration to improve teaching quality metrics.

We want to explore whether teaching quality benchmarks can be automated and enhanced from learning analytics data. We’ll determine whether the data can serve up some rich and reliable insights to help institutions to better address regulatory requirements (such as TEF2 and subsequent iterations) as well as contribute insights to related institutional uses.

This will only happen if we undertake some experimentation and with your help we can!

Jisc will provide a safe and secure data processing environment, developers and a data sharing agreement to undertake the work. But we also need your help.

We’re seeking

  1. Champions (institutional lead learning analytics contacts) to join a team and advise us on direction
    Effort expectation 2 hours per week (remote via Skype / Skype for Business) and 3 days face to face, over 12 weeks
  2. Data
    To be decided by the team, but likely to be pseudonymous (where identifiers have been replaced) historic data as used by the Jisc Learning Analytics Service, including student (UDD) data and activity data

You’ll bring expertise and knowledge of the data, the sector, the challenges and the potential for benchmarks which might be created from the data. You will join a small team of peers and be supported in identifying the most promising benchmarking areas for exploration and the data detail required.

In return you’ll get the opportunity to steer future mandatory collections / returns, helping to make these less burdensome and more useful. We’ll also invite you to meet 10 other teams exploring different areas of exploration and you’ll see a range of data visualisations for a variety of purposes.

Our target date for launching this initiative is 16 May at a face-to-face event in Manchester (Jisc will cover your travel costs for both F2F meetings).

At this stage we’re mocking up proofs of concept only – no institutional data will be published for benchmarking. We’re hoping that once we show what is possible, it will spark more interest in the potential ultimately benefiting the whole sector.

If you’re interested in taking part, email  by 30 April outlining in 200 words or less how your experience would contribute to the task. We’ll shortlist and invite successful applicants to the 16 May event and you’ll join a planning F2F meeting with your team the week after.

You can read a little more in Niall’s blog post at

or the morning video of our presentation is amongst those at

and the slides I used are at

Thanks for reading!

Lee Baylis

Senior Analytics Innovator


By Paul Bailey

Head of co-design, part of a research and development team

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