Today I submitted and internal Open University project bid to a programme called eSTEeM.
I post here the project description. N.B. at this stage this is just a proposal. However we should hear by 31 October 2012 if this has been supported as an eSTEeM project and funded. If so I might be blogging much more about this work and its findings.
May I remind readers I set up a LinkedIn Group to try and tease out if there was anyone worldwide doing anything in the area of Learning Analytics and Accessibility. There has been some interest (the group currently has 75 members) but no one has yet shared that they are doing substantive work. So you never know LA4STEM but in the future be seen as seminal.
If you are interested in this field may I commend to you SoLAR – The Society of Learning Analytics Research: http://www.solaresearch.org/
I will be giving a 30 min presentation about this work at this event - it’s a long way to travel for me – it’s OU main campus where I work :
SoLAR Flare UK (19 Nov 2012) #flareUK
Mon 19 Nov 2012, The Open University
Jennie Lee Building, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA [map]
Feel free to post comments or questions!
LA4STEM Project Description
The LA4STEM project will review the potential of Learning Analytics in higher education, specifically in STEM, and with an emphasis on supporting disabled students and facilitating accessibility enhancements.
Learning Analytics is defined as the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs. Learning analytics is a “hot topic” in eLearning and was the second headline topic in the 2-3 year time to adoption section in the 2012 NMC Horizon Report on Higher Education:
“The larger promise of learning analytics, however, is that when correctly applied and interpreted, it will enable faculty to more precisely understand students’ learning needs and to tailor instruction appropriately far more accurately and far sooner than is possible today.”
The LA4STEM project will specifically explore the following STEM application areas for Learning Analytics:
- Student support (with an emphasis on support for disabled students)
- Tutor support (facilitating their support of disabled learners)
- Module review (identifying accessibility enhancements)
- Retention and attainment (focussing on where disabled students appear disadvantaged)
- Learning analytics in remote labs (because of their potential for enhancing access to STEM)
- Recommender systems (the timely direction of disabled students to support and study skills aids; including scaffolding of STEM specific learning activities)
A key output of the project will be an external funding bid for a larger-scale collaborative project. The work of LA4ALL will inform pilots in this project. Provide envisaged benefits are confirmed, this should lead to enterprise level implementation within the OU and across HE.
The findings of the LA4STEM project will be disseminated, firstly throughout the Science and MCT faculties, then to the wider university. External dissemination will highlight the OU’s lead in this field.
 Johnson, L., Adams, S. and Cummins, M. (2012) The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. The New Media Consortium, Austin, Texas: http://www.nmc.org/publications/horizon-report-2012-higher-ed-edition