Title

An Investigation of First-Year Engineering Student and Instructor

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date

12-2016

Publication Title

Journal of Learning Analytics

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This paper investigates how first-year engineering undergraduates and their

instructors describe the potential for learning analytics approaches to contribute to student

success. Results of qualitative data collection in a first-year engineering course indicated that

both students and instructors emphasized a preference for learning analytics systems to focus on

aggregate as opposed to individual data. Another consistent theme across students and

instructors was an interest in bringing data related to time (e.g., how time is spent outside of

class) into learning analytics products. Students’ and instructors’ viewpoints diverged regarding

the “level” at which they would find a learning analytics dashboard useful. Instructors remained

focused on a specific class, but students drove the conversation to a much broader scope at the

major or university level but in a discipline-specific manner. Such practices that select relevant

data and develop models with learners and teachers instead of for learners and teachers should

better inform development of and, ultimately, sustainable use of learning analytics-based models

and dashboards.

First Page

215

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