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Jisc launches learning analytics service

24/09/18

Mark Say Managing Editor

Academia’s IT services provider has launched a learning analytics service for the higher and further education sectors.

Students in mortar boards

Jisc said the service, which uses AI with real time and existing data to track student performance and activities, already has 30 universities and colleges signed up.

It makes it possible to collate information to make it more useful: for example, in flagging up when a student’s attendance is dwindling or to highlight course content that they may not be engaging with. Academic and student support staff have access to a dashboard that brings together information including virtual learning environment (VLE) usage, attendance and assessment.

This can help to build up a picture of student learning habits and identify those at risk of dropping out.

Students have access to the Study Goal app to track how they use their time, from revision to relaxation, to help them take full ownership of their personal learning and study strategies.

Jisc’s chief executive Paul Feldman said: “This AI approach brings existing data together in one place to support academic staff in their efforts to enhance student success, wellbeing and retention.

"This world first is something which we believe will transform the student experience in the institutions across the UK that have signed up to use the service.”

Partnership design

The learning analytics service has been designed in partnership with universities and colleges in the UK and overseas, and a code of practice developed with the National Union of Students to address any ethical concerns around capturing the data.

After collection, the information is transferred to Jisc’s learning data hub, a cloud based solution for making sense of the patterns in student records and data. This is hosted on secure, resilient servers in the UK and EU, which will help colleges and universities to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The service can also provide anonymised insights across region or nation, offering potential to be used in policy and planning.

All higher education providers in Wales have been signed up to the service under the Learning Analytics Cymru project.

Image from rawdonfox,CC 2.0 through flickr

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