Learning Analytics Considered Harmful

Volume, Issue - Date: 
Volume 16, Issue 3 - June 2012
Laurie P. Dringus
Laurie P. Dringus, Nova Southeastern University
Full article - Free: Click on the file to download.: 
learning analytics, online learning, evaluation, effectiveness, participation patterns, threaded discussions

This essay is written to present a prospective stance on how learning analytics, as a core evaluative approach, must help instructors uncover the important trends and evidence of quality learner data in the online course. A critique is presented of strategic and tactical issues of learning analytics. The approach to the critique is taken through the lens of questioning the current status of applying learning analytics to online courses. The goal of the discussion is twofold: (1) to inform online learning practitioners (e.g., instructors and administrators) of the potential of learning analytics in online courses and (2) to broaden discussion in the research community about the advancement of learning analytics in online learning. In recognizing the full potential of formalizing big data in online courses, the community must address this issue also in the context of the potentially "harmful application of learning analytics.