My PhD Study

“What are the Impacts of Adopting Learning Analytics in Different Academic Microcultures”

This site is dedicated to my current PhD study and all things Learning Analytics (LA).

Background to Study

For many years, academic staff at universities have been using information about their students, to inform their teaching practice. However it is only in recent years, following the expansion in online learning environments that the field of learning analytics has emerged, offering the opportunity for a far greater range of data to be utilised in more efficient and effective ways.

This study has grown from a passion developed over 15 years supporting academics in designing and developing their teaching practice. It will adopt a Critical Participatory Action Research approach to follow three groups of academics from different discipline groups in a regional university in Australia, the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), as they adopt LA and explore the relationships between characteristics of the group and the ways in which they use LA.

The study will also include surveys which will be disseminated to all academic staff at USQ to explore the levels of knowledge and use of LA as well as staff attitudes, beliefs and intentions towards LA. This will occur at the commencement of the study, and again after 18 months and will allow comparison of any changes in these variables between participants and non-participants.

Research Questions and Objectives:

The Research Questions, and corresponding Objectives for this study are:

  1. How do different academic microcultures (at the level of discipline area) with a range of experiences of Learning Analytics adopt these methods for informing their teaching practice?
    1. Establish which data use strategies are effective for informing teaching practice for different discipline groups
    2. Establish which LA approaches are effective for informing teaching practice for different discipline group
  2. What are the factors that influence (positively and/or negatively) higher education teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about Learning Analytics?
    1. Determine USQ academic staff members’ beliefs, attitudes and intentions towards LA and their current knowledge and use of LA including any differences in these characteristics across demographics. These demographics include discipline area, mode of delivery and teaching experience
    2. Study changes in USQ academic staff members’ beliefs, attitudes and intentions towards LA along with their knowledge and use of LA, over an 18 month period and whether participation in this study has any effect on these changes

 

 

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