The power of learning analytics in shaping education's future
As higher education institutions worldwide grapple with challenges of personalized learning and student retention and success, the field of learning analytics asks one basic question: How can data be leveraged to improve student outcomes?
My research has always been about student learning. What are the interesting opportunities we have to improve student experience on campus? What combination of classes improve student outcomes? How can we encourage and support self-driven success?
University of Michigan School of Information research professor Stephanie Teasley has spent decades examining the relationship between data and learning. In 2019, Teasley launched a student-facing dashboard tool — My Learning Analytics — designed to support student success in the classroom. The dashboard earned an IMS Global Learning Impact gold medal award.
“My research has always been about student learning,” she says. “What are the interesting opportunities we have to improve student experience on campus? What combination of classes improve student outcomes? How can we encourage and support self-driven success?”
Teasley’s research focuses on the development of innovative tools and techniques, offering students, instructors and academic advisers the opportunity to gain insights into individual learning trajectories. By bridging the gap between data science and education, Teasley's research empowers students to take control of their own learning.
“The My Learning Analytics dashboard gives students three different visualizations,” she explains. “The first shows them content on the website they’re supposed to touch. These can be practice quizzes, course lectures and videos, for example. It also tells them what percentage of their classmates have explored the content.”
The second visualization, explains Teasley, encourages self-regulated learning by allowing students to track their progress and make predictions on their grades based on test and homework scores. And finally, the last visualization shows students how their test scores and assignments compare to the rest of their peers so they can accurately assess how well they’re doing.
“The more data we have, the more we can drill down and understand the patterns of students, how they relate to student success and what combination of elements drive achievement,” she says.
Teasley, currently the executive officer of the International Society of the Learning Sciences, is wrapping up a three-year appointment as a program officer with the National Science Foundation. Her work continues to break new ground in the field of learning analytics, shaping the future of higher education.
Learn more about Stephanie Teasley’s research and upcoming projects by visiting her UMSI faculty profile.