Friday, September 13, kicked off another year of the Student Learning and Analytics at Michigan (SLAM) speaker series with a presentation by Tim McKay, chair of the University's Learning Analytics Task Force and Thurnau Professor of Physics. McKay spoke about the accomplishments of the Task Force from the previous year, presented data from recent Learning Analytics research, and discussed plans for the next year.
For those new to the topic, McKay explained that Learning Analytics (LA) -- or the collection, analysis, and use of large bodies of student data to improve learning -- can assist instructors in achieving a wide range of teaching goals. Data can be used to drive changes to how we interact with students, teach material, and evaluate learning, ultimately improving student outcomes in the classroom. The U-M Learning Analytics Task Force works to facilitate and support LA projects within the University community.
Last year, the Task Force funded a variety of LA projects at University of Michigan. One of these projects involved using data and technology to personalize the guidance given to undergraduate students in large lecture classes using the software system E2Coach. For more information on E2Coach and the Thurnau professors who created it, click here
. Other projects involved creating systems to customize course advising, with the goal of improving success throughout students' university careers.
If you are interested in learning more about learning analytics, sign up for the rest of the SLAM talks, or watch them online after they are posted. If you would like to pursue an LA project related to your teaching, the Task Force will be sponsoring a Learning Analytics Fellows program during the Winter term. Applications for this program will be available soon and due by November 15. The last round of Exploring Learning Analytics grants also are due on November 15, and the call for proposals can be found here.