Strategic Development of a National Pre-tertiary Learning Analytics System
Keywords:Learning analytics, Learning analytics system, Pre-tertiary education, Needs analysis, Dashboard
This paper elaborates the design of a National Learning Analytics (LA) and Educational Data Mining System for pre-tertiary education in Croatia. The described approach consists of the following five phases: 1) objectives setting, 2) user needs analysis, 3) data availability analysis, 4) dashboards pre-design and 5) validation of functionalities. There is an evident research gap, as well as the lack of practical examples about the development of a Learning Analytics System (LAS) for pre-tertiary education on the national and/or regional level. Therefore, this research aims to make a scientific contribution by filling the recognized gap, but also contribute to solving the practical issues of national schools’ LAS development. To increase the usability of an LAS, the involvement of all end users is essential. In the described case, six main user groups were identified: 10-18 years old students, teachers, school management and support staff, regional and national authorities responsible for education, strategic bodies and researchers and, finally, project partners that work on system development. For each of them, separate dashboard functionalities have been designed through several rounds of consultations. Consultations with users started with focus groups and panels, to brainstorm the most important issues they would like to answer in order to enhance learning and teaching. Between the two rounds of consultation, there was an evaluation phase of the relevance of the gathered questions. Finally, targeted users provided feedback on the pre-production functionalities of each dashboard and validated them. In this process, several challenges were detected, including data gathering and protection, ethical issues and interpretation of results for students who are underage, and continuous adjustments to the users’ needs.