Issue 21
Monday, 21 November 2016
Charles Darwin University
Professor Deborah West is a leader in researching and developing learning analytics
Professor Deborah West is a leader in researching and developing learning analytics

Specialist shares knowledge of learning analytics

By Andrew Hall

A Charles Darwin University learning specialist has shared her knowledge about learning analytics with an international gathering of education and IT experts.

The development and implementation of learning analytics are key to enhancing teaching and learning outcomes for staff and students at CDU.

Office of Learning and Teaching director, Professor Deborah West recently presented a paper titled “Improving Learning and Teaching with Learning Analytics: What Do Teachers Want?”, at the Educause conference in the United States.

Professor West told an audience of more than 200 educators and IT experts about the value of learning analytics from a teaching perspective.

“The analytics process captures and stores data traces left behind by students and teachers in various technologies that can be collated into a virtual map to facilitate a deeper understanding of how to improve teaching practice,” Professor West said.

“Traditionally, learning took place in a face-to-face context, but increasingly it has become an online or technology-enabled environment.”

Professor West said learning analytics was centred on the power to process big data to identify trends that could give valuable feedback to academics about the strengths and weaknesses of their students, leading to better participation and retention outcomes.

“As we move further into the online space, IT-based support technologies will become more and more important; it is in this context that learning analytics are seen as increasingly valuable,” she said.