Engagement reporting tools for Blackboard and Moodle

Posted on Posted in Blackboard, Learning Analytics, Moodle

In my last post I described four types of learning analytics products.  Here I’ll go into more detail around some of the VLE-based engagement reporting tools. These products for Blackboard and Moodle sit within the virtual learning environment (VLE/LMS), look at its data only, and provide simple indications of a student’s progress, raising flags when […]

Learning analytics: what types of product are available?

Posted on Posted in Learning Analytics, Systems

Every educational institution wants its learners to reach their full potential.  Learning analytics can help us to measure and predict student success using data relating to engagement, grades, retention, graduation and employability.  But what products are out there to enable institutions to improve on the indicators of success, and to help visualise and analyse the […]

Students studying

Code of practice “essential” for learning analytics

Posted on Posted in Ethics, Learning Analytics, Legal issues

We had a lively session on ethics and legal issues at the Jisc Effective Learning Analytics workshop last week, kicking it off by outlining some of the key questions in this area: Who should have access to data about students’ online activities? Are there any circumstances when collecting data about students is unacceptable/undesirable? Should students […]

Jisc effective learning analytics workshop

Taking Learning Analytics to the next stage

Posted on Posted in Learning Analytics

How do higher and further education institutions in the UK best share their expertise in learning analytics?  Would a jointly developed code of practice for learning analytics help deal with the legal and ethical issues?  How can Jisc facilitate the development of tools and dashboards to help institutions develop their analytics capabilities to enhance student […]

Snooping professor or friendly don? The ethics of university learning analytics

Posted on Posted in Learning Analytics

Universities have been recording data digitally about their students for decades. No one would seriously question the necessity of collecting facts for administrative purposes, such as a student’s name and address, module choices and exam results. But as teaching and learning increasingly migrate to the internet, huge amounts of data about individuals’ activities online are […]


Making ebooks more interactive: logistics and ethics

Posted on Posted in Mobile Learning

I had an interesting discussion yesterday with Phil Butcher, the Open University’s e-assessment guru.  He wanted to talk about whether we should invest in embedding our wide range of interactive question types in ebooks. Since the 1970s Open University course teams have attempted to get students to think more deeply about the content they are […]

Dave Middleton

Can mass sychronous events work with MOOCs?

Posted on Posted in Collaboration, Course design, MOOCs

MOOCs tend to involve consuming online content, taking automated assessments and peer networking. While students may feel some connection to the academics who create the courses by watching recorded videos of them, the opportunities for synchronous connection with subject experts are limited. Dave Middleton is a tutor manager with the Open University and has been […]

Current OU systems are disparate

MyOU: A seamless online experience for learners

Posted on Posted in Architecture, OU VLE

Accessing online content and services has become a vital part of the OU experience. The virtual learning environment has been carefully designed over the last seven years and has some excellent features such as a custom-built forum tool and quiz engine.  Meanwhile we have other systems such as StudentHome, Open Learn and Library Services, full […]

Where next for tuition at the Open University?

Posted on Posted in Course design, OU VLE, Policies, Strategy

Should Open University students be entitled to particular types and amounts of tuition during their studies?  Should provision be consistent across tutor groups, regions and nations, and qualifications?  What are the most successful pedagogical strategies for online synchronous sessions?  How should we engage with Facebook as an institution?  What role do face to face sessions […]

Two paradoxes at the heart of MOOCs

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in MOOCs

My thinking on MOOCs has been consolidated after doing a fair bit of reading, chatting and thinking recently.  Much has been written on the disruptive potential of MOOCs and also about the problems associated with them such as lack of quality, plagiarism and lack of tutor support.   I have no desire to add to the […]