Learning is an interactive process. During this process, the learners interact with their teacher, peers and technology if they happen to use a LMS. A few questions have always been central to the educator like “How the learners want to learn?”, “Is the course being taught hold any strategic importance to the learner?” or “How effective is the course, is it meeting the learner needs?”
Traditional approaches to answer these questions have been student evaluation in the form of term end examinations, student feedback, analysis of grades and attrition rates etc.
Obviously if this traditional approach would have been successful I would not have been writing this post.
One of the major reason on why another approach is required because the above traditional forms of resolution require considerable amount of time before we can reap the benefits of their research.
As an increasing amount of educational resources including teaching has moved from the brick and mortar classes to e-learning domain, this resulted into massive amounts of educational data being generated by these e-learning systems like LMS etc.
Recently an interest in how this data can be used for improving learning and teaching has sprouted and this has led to the birth of a new research field called Learning Analytics.
Tanya Elias. (2011). Learning Analytics: Definitions, Processes and Potential. Available: http://learninganalytics.net/LearningAnalyticsDefinitionsProcessesPotential.pdf. Last accessed 10th August 2013.