Learning data and analytics

Learning data fuels the analytics needed to better understand learner engagement as we constructively support and enhance students’ online learning.

About learning data

Learning data refers to the traces that learners leave behind when using educational technology across the learning and teaching landscape at Charles Sturt.

The use of data has a well-established place in educational methodology and learning design. What is relatively new is the large amount of learning data available as students engage in their studies using the learning management system, Interact2, and the variety of other education technology platforms at the University.

Learning data offers actionable information to support learning and teaching in different ways:

  • Teaching staff: use learning data to provide feedback to students on their learning activity and progress, and to make informed decisions regarding learning and teaching interactions
  • Design and development staff: use learning data as a key component to measure and gain insight into the impact and redesign of learning designs within course and subject structures
  • Faculty educational leadership: use learning data to provide alerts and reports that enable and inform appropriate management interventions and professional development strategies.

Educational technology systems automatically collect and store all user data, which can then be reported on:

  • for an individualised user in a specific teaching period and subject
  • at an aggregated level examining large subsets of students or the entire student body population.

Incorporating data into learning and teaching practices and design and development processes is the basis of an evidence-informed approach to support, improve and innovate on the student learning experience at Charles Sturt.

Using learning data

Learning data reporting mostly measures content activity rather than conclusive learning behaviour. Data may help you determine, for instance, which teaching practices are working best, but maybe not why.

The best place to start is with the pedagogy rather than the data. Have a question in mind, or begin with an issue you’d like to resolve. Then use analytics approaches to gain insight from learning data to improve the learning and teaching.

Ethical and responsible use of data

In the use of student data, it’s important to recognise the role we have in the protection of student privacy. Our data practices are governed by the Charles Sturt Learning Analytics Code of Practice, and we comply with the University's Privacy Management Plan and data security policies. As with student grades and other sensitive data, you should use learning data and analytics on a ‘need to know’ basis.

Learning data for teaching staff

Several data analytics tools are available in the form of reports and dashboards that provide you with actionable information to help improve learning and teaching.

Performance Dashboard and Retention Centre

You can use these tools within Interact2 subject sites to monitor student activity and progress.

Performance Dashboard

This dashboard provides a summary view into particular aspects of student activity in your subject. It gives an up-to-date snapshot of how each student is interacting with certain elements of a subject site.

Despite the name, it isn’t a measure of student performance. It is only a measure of activity. Use the Performance Dashboard as one source of insight to reflect upon subject and site design.

Get help with the Dashboard

Retention Centre

Retention Centre comprises an Activity Table data visualisation summary that’s based on a set of four pre-configured rules to indicate students' engagement and participation in your subject.

Retention Centre gives you an easy way to monitor participation and progress of students, and to determine those who may need attention or could be encouraged, depending upon how the alert rules are configured. You might like to think of Retention Centre as a student activity centre.

Get help with the Centre

Site Analytics Dashboard

This dashboard is an external Tableau graphical representation of learning data from Interact2. This data visualisation tool provides an easily accessible way for you to see and understand trends, patterns and outliers in student activity within your subject site.

Site Analytics presents a near real-time overview of student activity, with data in the dashboard refreshed once per day at 2am. There are four views within the Site Analytics dashboard:

  1. Site overview.
  2. Student content activity.
  3. Student timelines.
  4. Daily breakdown.

Each dashboard view has a 'download' ability, and you have various download options to select from. The data download provides two options of either a summary or a full data report.

Get help with Site Analytics