In our previous newsletter, I wrote about mobile learning and how education has evolved from classroom space to literally open space. Partly due to mobile devices’ ease of use, portability, pricing, and easy access to educational applications, it has transcended the classroom experience even more where teaching and learning truly can take place anywhere at any time. One of the effects of this evolution has been the rise in instructors’ adoption of and students’ use of Learning Management Systems (LMS) (such as Blackboard, eCollege, Desire2Learn, etc.), social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), and educational gaming programs.
The rise in student use of these systems allows for the accumulation of data (Big Data.) These include rates of student participation and interaction in specific learning activities, time spent interacting with online resources, grades, and LMS login information, just to name a few. The analyses of these data, called Learning Analytics, act as predictors for instructors and administrators based on patterns developed over time. This allows instructors/administrators to develop interventions for successful and at-risk students allowing for personalization of instruction.
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