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Making Sense of Learning Analytics Dashboards: A Technology Acceptance Perspective of 95 Teachers

  • Bart Rienties Open University UK
  • Christothea Herodotou Open University UK, Institute of Educational Technology, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
  • Tom Olney Open University UK, Institute of Educational Technology, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
  • Mat Schencks Open University UK, LTI, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
  • Avi Boroowa Open University UK, LTI, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Keywords: learning analytics, information visualisation, learning dashboards, distance education

Abstract

The importance of teachers in online learning is widely acknowledged to effectively support and stimulate learners. With the increasing availability of learning analytics data, online teachers might be able to use learning analytics dashboards to facilitate learners with different learning needs. However, deployment of learning analytics visualisations by teachers also requires buy-in from teachers. Using the principles of technology acceptance model, in this embedded case-study, we explored teachers’ readiness for learning analytics visualisations amongst 95 experienced teaching staff at one of the largest distance learning universities by using an innovative training method called Analytics4Action Workshop. The findings indicated that participants appreciated the interactive and hands-on approach, but at the same time were skeptical about the perceived ease of use of learning analytics tools they were offered. Most teachers indicated a need for additional training and follow-up support for working with learning analytics tools. Our results highlight a need for institutions to provide effective professional development opportunities for learning analytics.

Author Biography

Bart Rienties, Open University UK
Bart Rienties is Professor of Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK. He is programme director Learning Analytics within IET and Chair of Analytics4Action project, which focuses on evidence-based research on interventions on OU modules to enhance student experience. As educational psychologist, he conducts multi-disciplinary research on work-based and collaborative learning environments and focuses on the role of social interaction in learning, which is published in leading academic journals and books. His primary research interests are focussed on Learning Analytics, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and the role of motivation in learning. Furthermore, Bart is interested in broader internationalisation aspects of higher education. He has successfully led a range of institutional/national/European projects and received several awards for his educational innovation projects.
Published
2018-11-27
How to Cite
Rienties, B., Herodotou, C., Olney, T., Schencks, M., & Boroowa, A. (2018). Making Sense of Learning Analytics Dashboards: A Technology Acceptance Perspective of 95 Teachers. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 19(5). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v19i5.3493
Section
Research Articles