Analytics and complexity: Learning and leading for the future

Colin Beer (CQUniversity)
David Jones (University of Southern Queensland)

Paper to be presented at ASCILITE’2012

Full paper available here soon.


There is growing interest in the application of learning analytics to manage, inform and improve learning and teaching within higher education. In particular, learning analytics is seen as enabling data-driven decision making as universities are seeking to respond a range of significant challenges that are reshaping the higher education landscape. Experience over four years with a project exploring the use of learning analytics to improve learning and teaching at a particular university has, however, revealed a much more complex reality that potentially limits the value of some analytics-based strategies. This paper uses this experience with over 80,000 students across three learning management systems, combined with literature from complex adaptive systems and learning analytics to identify the source and nature of these limitations along with a suggested path forward.

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