In early 2014, Jisc set about creating a set of online tools for UK universities and colleges to better understand their learner data and make more informed decisions so that they might increase student satisfaction, retention, and attainment. A pilot stage kicked off in August 2014, with the aim of providing a set of basic learning analytics tools drawing from a range of data sources and using proven metrics.
Key Project Aims
- Commission a basic learning analytics ‘freemium’ solution for further and higher education to gain experience and later progress to a more advanced toolset
- Develop a core toolset available at no cost with the ability to purchase additional functionality if required
- Develop a network and resource toolkit for organisations to share knowledge and expertise and get advice and support
- Get students involved with developing a learning analytics app
- Provide staff with a tool to track and record interventions
- Develop a code of practice to help organisations deal with issues such as data protection and privacy.
Jisc selected HT2 Labs and their Learning Record Store, Learning Locker, as the key central store of learner data that would underpin the solution. Working with the team at HT2 Labs, Jisc has commissioned a range of add-ons and improvements to transform the LRS into an LRW – a Learning Records Warehouse. The HT2 Labs team has played a role in building consensus around implementing a national architecture for HE Learning Analytics, including the co-creation of recipes for VLE’s looking to capture xAPI data. Working with teams at VLE providers like Blackboard, along with predictive tools such as Unicon’s Early Alert system and Tribal’s Student Success Planner, HT2 Labs has helped Jisc to bring it’s vision of a national Learning Analytics architecture to life:
Today Learning Locker represents the UK’s national Learning Records Warehouse (as provided by Jisc), with open APIs to interface common data sources and commercial or open source dashboards, analysis tools and apps. This centralisation helps to de-risk adoption by universities, reducing the cost of sales and barriers to innovation for vendors, and creates a globally unique big data source for benchmarking and research into modern blended HE.
Over 50% of UK universities having expressed firm interest in placing their data within the LRW; data from around 50 universities is projected to be in the LRW by the end of 2016/17 academic year.
Jisc (formerly the Joint Information Systems Committee) are a UK non-departmental government body and registered charity who provide digital solutions for UK education and research.
You can find full details of the project here.