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Trends of learning analytics in STE(A)M education: a review of case studies

Kam-Cheong Li (Institute for Research in Open and Innovative Education, The Open University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Billy Tak-Ming Wong (Institute for Research in Open and Innovative Education, The Open University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 4 June 2020

Issue publication date: 12 August 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a review of case studies on the use of learning analytics in Science, Technology, Engineering, (Arts), and Mathematics (or STE[A]M) education. It covers the features and trends of learning analytics practices as revealed in case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 34 case studies published from 2013 to 2018 reporting relevant learning analytics practices were collected from Scopus and Google Scholar for analysis. The features and trends of practices were identified through a comparison of the first (2013–2015) and the second period (2016–2018).

Findings

The results showed an increasing adoption of learning analytics in STE(A)M education, particularly in the USA and European countries and at the tertiary level. More specific types of data have been collected for the learning analytics practices, and the data related to students’ learning processes has also been more frequently used. The types of STE(A)M learning practices have become more diversified, with technology enhancement features increasingly introduced. The outcomes of the case studies reflect the overall benefits of learning analytics and address the specific needs of STE(A)M education. There have also been fewer types of limitations encountered in the learning analytics practices over the years, with unknown correlation among variables, small sample size and limited data being the major types.

Originality/value

This study reveals the implementation of learning analytics in relation to the contexts and needs of STE(A)M education. The findings also suggest future work for examining the adoption of learning analytics to cope with the development of STE(A)M and, in particular, how the successful experience of learning analytics in other disciplines could be transferred to STE(A)M.

Keywords

Citation

Li, K.-C. and Wong, B.T.-M. (2020), "Trends of learning analytics in STE(A)M education: a review of case studies", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 323-335. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITSE-11-2019-0073

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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