Learning analytics implementations: Emergence of two trajectories?
Across institutions, 2 trajectories of LA implementations were identified:
- Trajectory (Cluster) 1: LA was primarily focused on supporting retention activity
- Trajectory (Cluster) 2: LA was characterised by an emerging focus on pedagogy, curriculum, and learning.
All institutions identified retention as a priority activity for LA, Cluster 1 institutions primarily utilised learning analytics to support targeted retention activities. By contrast, Cluster 2 institutions were supplementing their retention activity with learning analytics initiatives designed to enhance teaching and learning experiences more broadly. Taken at face value, this would suggest that the next phase of learning analytics maturity for institutions in Cluster 1 may involve strategically focusing on readiness variables to ensure that they can accommodate and support learning analytics activity that is embedded in, and informs, teaching and learning activity.
However, the findings highlight that the two trajectories did not only differ in how their learning analytics programs looked, both trajectories were underpinned by different conceptualisations of learning analytics, and their prioritisation, and readiness, of antecedent factors. Simply, how learning analytics was deployed (and performed) was strongly mediated by goals and drivers for learning analytics that appeared unique to each institution.