This paper aims to review and identify the major patterns and trends in learning analytics practices in higher education institutions. The review covers the characteristics of the institutions, as well as the characteristics and outcomes of the learning analytics practices.Design/methodology/approachThis research collected literature published in 2011-2016 which reported learning analytics practices from Scopus and Google Scholar, covering a total of 47 institutions, and categorised the information about the relevant institutions and practices.FindingsThe results show that most of the institutions were public ones in the USA and the UK of various sizes and offering different levels of study. The learning analytics practices were mainly institution-wide, apart from a small number focusing on selected courses. The purposes of the practices were mainly to enhance the effectiveness of learning support and administration, followed by facilitating students’ learning progress. The most common types of data collected for the practices were students’ academic behaviours and their background information. Positive outcomes were reported for a majority of the practices, and the most frequent ones being an increase in cost-effectiveness and understanding of students’ learning behaviours. Other outcomes included the improvement of student retention, timely feedback and intervention, support for informed decision-making and the provision of personalised assistance to students.Originality/valueThe results provide an overview of the use of learning analytics in the higher education sector. They also reveal the trends in learning analytics practices, as well as future research directions.
Interactive Technology and Smart Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 23, 2018
Keywords: Higher education; Learning analytics; Academic analytics
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