Category Archives: Systems

Student app for learning analytics: functionality and wireframes

Our app to display learning analytics to students themselves is taking shape.  After brainstorming requirements for the app with staff and students at a workshop in London and seeking further input from students at Lincoln University we obtained useful feedback on our draft designs from students at our Summer of Student Innovation (SOSI) session in Birmingham … Read more

Jisc’s Learning Analytics Architecture – who’s involved, what are the products and when will it be available?

The procurement exercise for Jisc’s architecture for learning analytics (see animated explanation) resulted in the selection of a number of preferred suppliers and a blend of commercial and open source solutions. The intention is to develop a sustainable and flexible learning analytics service for UK universities and colleges from 2017, with most of the components … Read more

Refining a systems architecture for learning analytics

European experts came together last week in an icy Paris to review Jisc’s evolving architecture for learning analytics.  The event at L’Université Paris Descartes was jointly hosted by Apereo and Jisc.  Delegates included representatives from the Universiteit van Amsterdam, the Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten in Germany, Surfnet in the Netherlands, CETIS and the Lace Project, as … Read more

A student app for learning analytics

Many applications for learning analytics have been proposed, are under development or are already being deployed by institutions.  These range from prompting staff to intervene with students at risk of drop-out to attempting to understand whether some learning content or activity is effective. Much of this is about providing better information to staff about students and … Read more

Tribal Student Insight: an interview with Chris Ballard

When I blogged about learning analytics systems being developed by vendors of student information systems (SISs) I mentioned Tribal’s emerging system, Student Insight, which it’s been developing with the University of Wolverhampton. Tribal’s SITS:Vision product is used by over half of UK higher education institutions.  Meanwhile the company’s ebs4 SIS (or MIS as it’s known … Read more

Learning analytics using business intelligence systems

In previous posts I’ve looked at the emerging tools for monitoring user engagement, and adding more sophisticated engagement metrics. I’ve also examined the learning analytics systems being offered by vendors of virtual learning environments (learning management systems) and student information systems.  VLEs and SISs are the places where most data about students and their learning … Read more

Using your student information system as the basis for learning analytics

While VLE vendors would like their systems to be at the heart of an institution’s learning analytics efforts, vendors of student information systems (SISs) are now attempting to place their products in the analytics driving seat.  The SIS (also known as the student record system) is a vital product for any educational institution. It includes data … Read more

Analytics systems centred around the VLE/LMS

Vendors are rapidly developing products for analysing learners and their activities.  There’s a battle going on between the companies whose primary product is the VLE, those which sell student information systems (SISs) and those who have developed business intelligence systems for industry in general but are now targetting the education sector as a key market. … Read more

More sophisticated learner engagement metrics – and doing something with them

I’ve described some of the basic reporting functionality available for Moodle and Blackboard but this is just scratching the surface of what is possible with learning analytics.  In this post I’ll look at ways in which analytics from other data sources such as video and ebooks are being brought into the VLE to help gain … Read more

Engagement reporting tools for Blackboard and Moodle

In my last post I described four types of learning analytics products.  Here I’ll go into more detail around some of the VLE-based engagement reporting tools. These products for Blackboard and Moodle sit within the virtual learning environment (VLE/LMS), look at its data only, and provide simple indications of a student’s progress, raising flags when … Read more