Student retention, engagement, performance and improving learning content are all key drivers for SRUC in developing their plans regarding learning analytics. However, their primary objective is resource management.For example, data from the student portal (which would contain support information) could be analysed to look at areas of traffic and match this to resource allocation.
Attendance is currently monitored in all taught sessions. This is through CELCAT, a timetabling system which generates registers that students sign when they attend. This is used as a measure of student engagement rather than an attendance procedure.For example, when considering if students are happy with their modules and course work.Engagement is also monitored by individual staff through the VLE, but this isn’t an institutional policy and the data isn’t gathered at an institutional level but is used by individuals in their reflective monitoring activity. Staff have not been keen to use central data, preferring to use their own.
The main plan at SRUC regarding learning analytics is the introduction of a new student portal. The ideal is to have a strong student services presence on the portal so that students needs can be promptly met whenever they need help or advice, for example, with finance or mental health. There is also consideration being given to the use of chatbots to provide both quantitative and qualitative feedback from student interactions.
Moving forward, data SRUC is planning to collect includes: portal engagement, VLE engagement, and student support engagement. Data on assignments and submissions is also being considered.
SRUC is aiming to use learning analytics to draw conclusion across cohorts rather than for individuals. The hope is that everyone would use learning analytics because it would provide useful data for staff and, in turn, be ‘the done thing’ rather than the institution referring to it as a mandatory procedure. Furthermore, one of the main future goals is that learning analytics will help staff reflect on learning & teaching. This should thus enable them to identify strengths and weaknesses and give them evidence to be able to tackle issues.
Students are at the heart of all future plans with the idea that they will be key partners in the development process, supported by Learning Engagement Officers and Sabbatical Officers.