Don’t worry, I’m not going to end here. As much as I’d like to throw my hands up and walk away (like you, I’ve got plenty of other things to do), I do think single instructors can collect learning data, analyze it, and then implement meaningful changes. To be successful, I think a solo instructor needs to start small–focus on small pieces of data and implement small changes. For example, I know I can’t make assumptions about what number and/or length of instances of LMS access, but I do know that if a student does not log in after a certain length of time, there is likely a problem. I do know that a student who does not access the online course with their own computer is likely to struggle. I do know all students benefit from sincere instructor communication and engagement. With relative ease I can assess if it’s been a few days since a student logged in and send a “miss you” message. At the beginning of the term, I can ask students about what devices they plan to use to complete the online course and send comments and support based on that data. At specific points during the semester, I can assess how well students are doing and send messages crafted for each grade range (including those earning As, they can be reminded that I see and recognize their hard work). These are all small instances where with both relative ease and confidence I can access, analyze, and use data generated by my students. Next, I need to then figure out how to assess the success of these changes. That is a blog post for another time.
September 5, 2017
Big Data, Learning Analytics, and the Single Instructor–Start Small
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