What do students want from learning analytics systems?

Jacqueline Wong

Learning analytics (LA) has been discussed several times in this website (click link for article on research evidence and LA taxonomy for information on this topic). With the fast moving development in the field of educational technology, building personalized LA systems is no longer a possibility but a reality. Schumacher and Ifenthaler (2018) investigated the features expected from LA systems by one of the major stakeholders of education: the students.

The study showed that students were generally positive about learning analytics in supporting their learning process. Five of the 15 LA features stood out:

  1. A reminder function that would remind students of the deadlines, such as due dates for enrolment or assignment submission.
  2. A help function to revise relevant content taught in previous semesters.
  3. Prompts for self-assessment to help students monitor their current progress and feedback to the assessment to correct their misconceptions.
  4. Feedback for online assignments so that students can evaluate their own work against the feedback given.
  5. Recommendations for learning in order to successfully complete the course.

Finally, the results showed that students’ willingness to use the LA systems depended on how they perceived the features in terms of learning, usefulness, privacy, and difficulty. Therefore, while the development of LA systems is underway, to yield the benefits of LA systems, there are barriers, such as deciding which features to include and students’ willingness to use the systems, that should be considered.

Schumacher, C., & Ifenthaler, D. (2018). Features students really expect from learning analytics. Computers in Human Behavior, 78, 397-407.

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