Exploring the benefits and challenges of learning analytics in higher education institutions: a systematic literature review

Shahira El Alfy (Business Faculty, Higher Colleges of Technology, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
Jorge Marx Gómez (Department fur Informatik, Carl von Ossietzky Universitat Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany)
Anita Dani (Foundation Department, Higher Colleges of Technology, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)

Information Discovery and Delivery

ISSN: 2398-6247

Publication date: 1 March 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The potential capabilities and benefits that learning analytics can provide are not fully utilized. A current stream of research suggests that learning analytics has more to offer for continuous improvement of higher education institutions. This study aims to explore the opportunities that data analytics stand to offer higher education and the challenges that plays down its role, adoption and usage in different areas of higher education institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a systematic literature review approach in answering the research questions. The critical role of learning analytics and the exploratory nature of research questions justify the use of systematic literature review. The current study used systematic research process adapted and presented by Hallinger (2013) to be used in social sciences in general and in educational leadership and management in particular. A standard process of finding relevant articles and examining reference lists is followed using articles from higher education which is the research context.

Findings

An examination of the literature showed that the majority of studies within the sample of articles are empirical representing 53 per cent, 32 per cent are conceptual, while only 15 per cent of the articles are a systematic literature review. Results also show that 58 per cent of the articles are teaching and learning related, 34 per cent are management related, while only 8 per cent are research related. Several challenges and opportunities of learning analytics in the three areas highlighted are presented and discussed.

Originality/value

The benefits and challenges of learning analytics are numerous and scattered in the literature. In this study, a typology related to different educational domains is developed to shed light on the benefits and challenges of learning analytics within particular higher education areas that are relevant to specific stakeholders. Benefits and challenges of learning analytics are classified into being management related, teaching and learning related and research related.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper forms part of the special section “Higher education information discovery, analytics, and dissemination”, guest edited by Mounir Kehal and Dr Justin Zhang.

Citation

El Alfy, S., Marx Gómez, J. and Dani, A. (2019), "Exploring the benefits and challenges of learning analytics in higher education institutions: a systematic literature review", Information Discovery and Delivery, Vol. 47 No. 1, pp. 25-34. https://doi.org/10.1108/IDD-06-2018-0018

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.