Supporting Higher Education to Integrate Learning Analytics (SHEILA)
The goal of the SHEILA project was to create a policy development framework that supports the systematic, sustainable and responsible adoption of learning analytics (LA). This aimed to help Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) become more responsible keepers and users of digital student data.
Co-funded by the European Commission via the Erasmus+ program, this study was conducted by 18 project team members from around the world – and led by Education Futures Professor Dragan Gašević.
It engaged a wide range of stakeholders through surveys, interviews, focus groups and a group concept mapping activity.
The resulting policy framework was thoroughly proven, and SHEILA resources are now available for HEIs to use.
The study highlighted six key findings:
Because adopting LA by HEIs was still in its early stages, there were unclear strategies and a lack of monitoring frameworks.
Institutional leaders were particularly interested in adopting LA to improve performance. Teachers wanted to use it to enhance curriculum design – and students were eager to receive tailored support.
Ethics and privacy were the most important elements to include in an LA policy. They were also key factors influencing student buy-in.
Teachers and students both expect LA to enhance student agency and self-regulated learning skills, rather than hindering them through a spoon-feeding or datafication approach.
Analytics expertise, data culture, staff buy-in and technological infrastructure are four key dimensions underpinning an institution’s ability to successfully adopt LA.
To close the feedback loop effectively, it is crucial to involve pedagogical expertise. It is also important to equip key users with reflective skills to interpret data – and translate it into action.
To discover more about this study, read the full research report.
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