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Achieving Benefits from LEarning analytics
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The ABLE Project (Achieving Benefits from LEarning analytics) has been developed to exploit the opportunities becoming available due to the rise of learning analytics technology. Learning analytics is the practice of using institutional data to improve students’ learning experiences. The technology is potentially transformative, however, there are early indications that the sector is not yet certain how to actually use these new tools. Knowing that students may be more at risk of withdrawing early or under performing does not automatically lead to improvements. The ABLE Project will investigate the use of learning analytics to improve student retention and success in the first year of higher education. We will: - Focus on the development of learning analytics to support the first year experience - Identify strategies for integrating institutional support around the data generated by learning analytics - Continue our existing research into the first year experience and students in transition - Provide recommendations and resources for the sector The project team possesses a wide range of expertise: NTU Ed Foster is a leading expert on student engagement. Ed has managed large research projects and is the project lead for the NTU Student Dashboard, an award winning learning analytics platform. Ed is actively involved in the EFYE network. Sarah Lawther is a researcher with extensive expertise in student progression and attainment. Sarah currently leads an institution-wide student retention research programme and currently manages the institution’s first year experience survey. KU Leuven Tinne De Laet, will lead the project for KU Leuven. She will be supported by Greet Langie, and Carolien Van Soom all based within Student Counselling and Tutorial Services teams. They have first-hand experience on the transition from secondary to higher education and will ensure that there is a practitioners’ perspective within the project. Erik Duval will bring his extensive experience of learning analytics into the project. He will be supported by Wim Van Petegem an expert in educational technology and supported by the other team members. Leiden University Maarten van de Ven PhD is an educational psychologist with over 30 years in the area of educational technology in HE. He has experience in educational research, design and implementation of e-learning activities, courseware design and production. Maartje van den Bogaard PhD is an education consultant and researcher with over 10 years of expertise as consultant, teacher trainer and researcher in engineering education, student success and policy and administration. She also teaches methodology of human subject research in Delft University. Marc Cleiren, PhD has specialized in designing questionnaires and implementing online surveys. He has worked for 30 years as a researcher in the field of Clinical and Health Psychology. He has, since 2011, been one of the principal designers of the intake questionnaire for prospective Leiden University students. We will achieve our project outputs by: - Extending existing, or developing new, learning analytics resources - Researching students’ experiences of transition into the first year - Testing students’ reactions to and use of learning analytics - Working as change agents within our own institutions to integrate information generated by learning analytics into support mechanisms - Disseminating our findings through the project website, blogs and journal articles - Delivering conference presentations, producing papers and literature reviews The ABLE Project will use a range of methods - Literature reviews of existing practices within the sector and particularly in our own institutions - Student surveys and questionnaires to better understand students’ experience of transition and also test their experience using learning analytics - We will work with staff and students to better understand their experience of using the tools - We will conduct analyses of student use of student counselling services and test the impact on retention and success. We will produce a range of useful outputs for the sector, including: - Reports and literature reviews about the use of learning analytics, student transition, retention and success. - There will also be software developed to capture, analyse and present student data in a meaningful manner - Importantly there will also be a report making recommendations about how to integrate learning analytics into institutional practices This project is extremely timely. In the next few years the sector is likely to see the rapid expansion of learning analytics. This will mean that the work we are proposing to do will be relevant throughout the sector. The project will provide researched recommendations, resources and insights into the use of learning analytics to support student transition and success that can be easily used by colleagues in other universities.

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