After Melbourne, my next stop was the town of Wagga Wagga, where Cassandra Colvin had invited me to talk about learning analytics.
I gave a public lecture at Riverina TAFE, which explored the use of learning analytics and the role they may play in the future of learning. This event was organised by u!magine and was open to all educators in the Wagga area – from K-12 through to Higher Education – interested in using learning analytics to inform their practice.
Learning analytics involve the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, in order to understand and optimise learning and the environments in which it occurs. Since emerging as a distinct field in 2011, learning analytics has grown rapidly, and institutions around the world are already developing and deploying these new tools. However, it is not enough for us to develop analytics for our educational systems as they are now – we need to take into account how teaching and learning will take place in the future. The current fast pace of change means that if, in 2007, we had begun developing learning analytics for 2017, we might not have planned specifically for learning with and through social networks (Twitter was only a year old), with smartphones (the first iPhone was released in 2007), or learning at scale (the term MOOC was coined in 2008). This talk will examine ways in which learning analytics could develop in the future, highlighting issues that need to be taken into account.