2009 Canadian e-Learning Conference Program

Harnessing Academic Analytics as a New Approach to Course Evaluation

Session Title: Harnessing Academic Analytics as a New Approach to Course Evaluation

Time & Date: 11:00 A.M. – 12:35 P.M., Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Location: Rm. 301, Lillooet Room, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC)

Session Description: Current course evaluation practices rely heavily on data derived from institutional surveys. While these provide information regarding student satisfaction, they are labour intensive, reactive, subject to student ‘survey fatigue’ and rarely measure actual student learning. Moreover, their formal and infrequent nature limits opportunities for instructors to receive timely feedback on their teaching. An alternate approach now exists that can provide educators with proactive indicators of student performance, engagement, community and satisfaction. This approach makes use of real-time data that is already captured non-invasively as part of everyday teaching and learning activities within any course that makes use of web-based course management systems (CMS) and similar systems. This workshop will focus on the analysis of CMS data that allows educators to visualize and explore student social networks within a course. We will present findings from our current international collaborative research project exploring real-time CMS tracking data and its relationship to teaching practice and student learning strategies. Workshop attendees will practice methods of data extraction and visualization of student social networks that develop in course-based discussion forums. They will also explore how social positioning of instructors and students can influence learning engagement, academic performance and sense of community. Additionally, participants will explore CMS data that provide lead indicators of student academic performance, engagement and community. This novel application of academic analytics will provide workshop attendees with the necessary skills and tools for identifying patterns of student behaviour that can predict potential ‘at-risk’ students early in a course.

Conference Stream: Learning & Teaching

Session Format: Hands-On Workshop

Co-Presenter: Shane Dawson

Co-Presenter: Leah P. Macfadyen

Co-Presenter Bio: Leah P. Macfadyen is a Research Associate in the Science Centre for Learning and Teaching (Skylight) in the Faculty of Science at The University of British Columbia. Her research interests include teaching and learning with technology, science education and international education.

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