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How do we start? An approach to learning analytics adoption in higher education

Dragan Gasevic (Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Yi-Shan Tsai (School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Shane Dawson (University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Abelardo Pardo (University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

International Journal of Information and Learning Technology

ISSN: 2056-4880

Article publication date: 12 June 2019

Issue publication date: 23 July 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The analysis of data collected from user interactions with educational and information technology has attracted much attention as a promising approach to advancing our understanding of the learning process. This promise motivated the emergence of the field of learning analytics and supported the education sector in moving toward data-informed strategic decision making. Yet, progress to date in embedding such data-informed processes has been limited. The purpose of this paper is to address a commonly posed question asked by educators, managers, administrators and researchers seeking to implement learning analytics – how do we start institutional adoption of learning analytics?

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative review is performed to synthesize the existing literature on learning analytics adoption in higher education. The synthesis is based on the established models for the adoption of business analytics and finding two projects performed in Australia and Europe to develop and evaluate approaches to adoption of learning analytics in higher education.

Findings

The paper first defines learning analytics and touches on lessons learned from some well-known case studies. The paper then reviews the current state of institutional adoption of learning analytics by examining evidence produced in several studies conducted worldwide. The paper next outlines an approach to learning analytics adoption that could aid system-wide institutional transformation. The approach also highlights critical challenges that require close attention in order for learning analytics to make a long-term impact on research and practice of learning and teaching.

Originality/value

The paper proposed approach that can be used by senior leaders, practitioners and researchers interested in adoption of learning analytics in higher education. The proposed approach highlights the importance of the socio-technical nature of learning analytics and complexities pertinent to innovation adoption in higher education institutions.

Keywords

Citation

Gasevic, D., Tsai, Y.-S., Dawson, S. and Pardo, A. (2019), "How do we start? An approach to learning analytics adoption in higher education", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 342-353. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-02-2019-0024

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited