The UK’s first national learning analytics service is to be launched in August. A total of 30 institutions – six colleges and 24 universities, have already signed up to the service, which will be launched by technology body Jisc, and another 30 are understood to have expressed an interest.
The new programme will collate student data such as attendance and grades to create records of their learning, and will then produce dashboards that will enable staff to view visualisations of the information. A number of other countries around the world already have national learning analytics services.
Jisc’s new offer will also include the Study Goal app, which allows students to record their activities, set targets and compare their progress with friends, in a similar way to a fitness tracker app. The service can also be used to register attendance.
Phil Richards, Jisc’s chief innovation officer, told the Times Higher Education that universities taking part in a pilot had seen an ability identifying students who were disengaging from learning and improving retention rates as the main benefits.
Dr Richards said: “There is evidence that it is particularly beneficial for widening participation cohorts and helps with student success and well-being,” he said. “The University of East Anglia, for example, doesn’t have a retention problem but signed up because it is interested in the employability angle.”
Dr Richards said a lot of the data was already collected by institutions and the service was simply collating it in one place.