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  1. Learning Analytics Project (LeAP)
  2. Frequently Asked Questions
Learning Enhancement and Development

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who benefits from learning analytics?

Learning analytics can benefit a variety of different stakeholders. These include:

  • Students: by providing more personalised and timely support to students who are either at risk or not engaging with their course. This can help students to progress and succeed in their studies.
  • Support Staff: by providing more data and a greater idea of how a student is engaging with their course. This can help to plan more effective and personalised interventions. Having multiple sources of information in the same system can also help to save time when assessing a student’s overall engagement.
  • Teachers: by providing analytics about how students are engaging with the content on the modules they teach on. This can help to plan more effective and personalised interventions.
  • Department heads: by providing an overview of how many students within a department are engaging with their course and how many are flagged as at risk. This can help to identify areas of concern so that improvements can be implemented.

What is a student "intervention"?

An “intervention” refers to timely and tailored support offered to individual students or groups of students flagged by the learning analytics system as being at risk of not progressing.  Interventions ensure that students receive appropriate learning support in a sympathetic, non-punitive way.

  • For individual students, an intervention could mean a tutor or engagement officer checking in to offer advice and support.
  • For groups of students (e.g. members of the same class on a module or programme), an intervention could mean a lecturer reaching out to make sure everyone understands a key topic and, if not, organising extra tutorials and/or uploading extra resources on Moodle to support students’ learning.

What learning analytics system does City use?

City is currently using Jisc’s Data Explorer (DataX) learning analytics system.  DataX uses a RAG traffic light system to rate students’ engagement at module and course-level as red, amber, or green. Student engagement is calculated using data from City’s virtual learning environment (VLE) and grade systems.

What data sources does City's learning analytics system use?

Currently, the DataX learning analytics system uses:

  1. Assessment data (taken from SITS, City’s student records system)
  2. Virtual learning environment (VLE) data (drawn from Moodle module clicks)

Work is currently underway to integrate a third learning source, attendance data (from the Count Me In/SEAtS attendance monitoring system), into DataX. This is expected to be completed in summer 2022.

The LeAP team are also investigating the pros and cons of integrating other student engagement data sources into DataX. These include lecture capture (Echo360), Turnitin, reading lists, library (Sierra), Teams, Zoom, OneDrive, Sharepoint, and Outlook.

How often is the data in City's learning analytics system refreshed?

The virtual engagement data within Moodle feeds into the DataX learning analytics system live and updates every minute. The assessment data in SITS updates overnight and can be seen in the system the next day.

Who has access to City's learning analytics system?

From 2021-22, specific Schools staff have been using student engagement reports provided by the Count Me In working group to access Moodle data downloaded from the DataX learning analytics system and attendance data downloaded from SEAtS. This measure, which allows staff to bypass the DataX interface, is intended as an interim measure until attendance data can be integrated into the DataX system in summer 2022.

When the DataX system is back in use, there are normally three main levels of access permitted on the system. These are:

  1. Admin access – held by central administration staff and the system administration team. These people are likely to be in LEaD, IT and Student and Academic Services.
  2. Site Explorer access – held by members of staff authorised by the systems administration team. Depending on the School, certain members of staff such as Head of Academic Services, Student Engagement Officers, Attendance Officers may request access.
  3. Tutor access – held by anyone listed on the Student Records System (SITS) as a personal tutor, module leader or module teacher.

For further information around access please speak to the Head of Academic Services  in your school.

Where can I request support and/or training to guide my use of learning analytics?

You can request support and/or training by emailing Ethan Henry (LeAP's project lead) or Evana Downes (LeAP's project support officer).