Where Sheila’s been for the last few weeks: restarting learning analytics at GCU

It’s been a busy couple of weeks what with the start of the new academic session, and I’ve been using up bits of annual leave so haven’t really had the chance to blog for a while. I didn’t want to let another week go by, it’s too easy to let the blogging habit slip, so this is just a quick update post.

One project that is going to be taking up quite a bit of my time this month, is our involvement in the Jisc Effective Analytics programme.  GCU is taking part in the discovery phase of this programme. This means that we are working with consultants, in our case from Blackboard, to assess our institutional readiness, from cultural to infrastructure, for analytics.

My team have been trying to get a pilot project around learning analytics going for about 18 months, however due to various changes internally progress had stalled. However, now we have a new CIO and Director of IT, we are ready to start again. The support from Jisc gives us a great incentive to reappraise our current capabilities, and will give us a trusted, objective view of our capabilities. The analytics infrastructure Jisc are developing also gives us a possible route to develop our provision further as well as share our experiences within the programme and beyond.

We’ve already had meetings with the consulting team and so far we are impressed with the approach they are taking. Just now they are reviewing lots of documentation, including our new very recently launched 2020 Strategy. Having effective data and analytics capabilities will be crucial for us as we work towards the aims and objectives of the strategy.

I’ll be sharing more as the project progresses, particularly nearer the end of this month after the onsite workshops and interviews have taken place.

Coincidentally earlier this week a video of the invited talk I gave at the Talis Aspire conference in April was released (yeah, I take a while to edit me!) Anyway in it I had a bit of a rant about data, analytics etc.  I’m hoping that through this project we will indeed start to get some actionable insights into our learning and teaching and student journeys.

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