Libraries and Analytics


Investigates learning analytics from an academic librarian's perspective. Jumpstarted by my participation in the 2012 Learning Analytics and Knowledge massively open online course. [HTML] [XML] Last Updated: Sun, 26 Feb 2012 02:14:33

Recent Posts

#LAK12 upcoming EDUCAUSE learning analytics focus session
, Libraries and Analytics, Mar 02, 2012
The announcement about the ELI 2012 Online Spring Focus Session on learning analytics arrived in my inbox yesterday. Yet again, the reference to libraries: "The analysis of this data, coming from a variety of sources like the LMS, the library, and the student information system, helps us observe and understand learning behaviors in order to enable appropriate interventions. " Because EDUCAUSE's focus is the management and use of and leadership in information resources, librarians are ... Fri, 02 Mar 2012 13:30:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 Gamifying SNAPP
, Libraries and Analytics, Mar 01, 2012
In a recent blog post over at David Jennings' Quickened with the Firewater blog David asks: "What would happen if we put learners in charge of analysing their own data about their performance?" Here's how it could happen with SNAPP, which is a software tool that helps online instructors analyze the communication patterns among students who use the LMS' communication tool: the instructor would allow communication to happen using the LMS, perhaps providing some task ... Wed, 29 Feb 2012 17:26:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 Word Cloud of Data Privacy & Ethics Chat
, Libraries and Analytics, Mar 01, 2012
We had a lively online chat during Erik Duval's presentation on privacy and ethics in learning analytics. Here are some details that you can see on the word cloud: --"brother" as in Big...some of us brought up the "Big Brother" theme when the question was asked, "What do you worry about with sharing your data?" --Lies vs. truth: is it considered lying when you present yourself as other-than-you? Is it your responsibility to present the truth about yourself online? --transparency ... Wed, 22 Feb 2012 17:20:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 Do Computer Scientists Do Science?
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Feb 20, 2012
Dragan Gasevic's presentation about evidence-based semantic web shows that the software engineering field is beginning to adopt the paradigm of evidence-based practice (EBP) which has already been increasingly adopted in medicine, nursing, education, social work, and other human services fields. In the evidence-based paradigm (and it indeed is a paradigm shift, especially for the medical field that birthed it), the randomized controlled trial is considered to be the study type ... Mon, 20 Feb 2012 14:38:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 Semantic Web: Glimpses of Understanding
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Feb 19, 2012
What I understand about the semantic web is that it: -- relies on metadata that codes the metaphysical identity of a piece of data and how it relates to other things or concepts. Is it an image? a person? an idea? An author? This reminds me of bibliographic cataloging in libraries. ("The Semantic Web: An Introduction")--exists on a very small scale currently ( Tim Berners-Lee's TED talk).--would allow us to find and visualize relationships between any two bodies of information, whether ... Sun, 19 Feb 2012 16:18:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 Knewton Love
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Feb 14, 2012
Thoughts from my viewing of the Knewton video: Flashback to 1992: I'm teaching at a private high school in Memphis, Tennessee. It's my first year of teaching at this school AND my first year of teaching high school. With 5 sections of students in two subjects, finding time to simply deal with the paperwork, classroom discipline, and preparing a new lesson plan for each day is a challenge -- let alone individualizing instruction for my students. A parent contacts me about her son. ... Tue, 14 Feb 2012 19:07:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 Community colleges: the perfect candidates for LA
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Feb 14, 2012
As illustrated by Vernon Smith's presentation on Rio Salado's implementation of LA, community colleges would serve as the perfect testbed/incubator/adopter of learning analytics. Here's why: 1) Community colleges are bursting at the seams. Taken as a group, they represent a very large population = large "n" for doing analytics. 2) Community college faculty, for the most part, are there to teach, not to do research. There is a pragmatic focus on student success. Therefore, ... Tue, 14 Feb 2012 18:38:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 UMBC MyActivity vs. Purdue Signals: BEATDOWN
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Feb 08, 2012
How do the UMBC and Purdue systems compare? I watched the video demo of University of Maryland Baltimore County's CheckMyActivity analytics tool and compared it to John Campbell's presentation on Purdue's Signals, as well as Kimberly Arnold's EDUCAUSE piece on Signals. Intuitiveness: SIGNALS. The use of color instantly symbolizes student grade status. The traffic light symbol is easy to understand and a powerful message and is really the genius of this system. The UMBC ... Wed, 08 Feb 2012 02:49:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 What teaching/learning and technical skillsets does LA require?
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Feb 07, 2012
In today's LAK12 MOOC presentation, John Campbell of Purdue's Signals Project stated that there are actually two important skills domains in learning analytics: technical AND teaching/learning. In fact, the teaching and learning skillset is what makes the technical skillset effective for designing and building tools in learning analytics. He stated that both of these sets are very difficult to find in one person, and at Purdue, they have had the most luck in looking for people with ... Tue, 07 Feb 2012 21:21:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 Recap of "Purdue Signals" presentation by John Campbell
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Feb 07, 2012
Great presentation by John Campbell of Purdue! If you didn't participate live, you'll want to watch the recording. Highlights for me were: 1) Hearing from a creator about the nuts and bolts of design, implementation, and ongoing maintenance and improvement of an analytics tool that is currently used by students in 80 introductory courses, with the goal of use by 20,000 unique student users. 2) Students have lodged no complaints about privacy issues and are positive about its use; ... Tue, 07 Feb 2012 21:05:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 Is LA strictly behaviorist?
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Feb 07, 2012
I thank Bianka Hadju for calling my attention to this statement about behaviorism in Siemens' and Long's Penetrating the Fog piece: Since we risk a return to behaviorism as a learning theory if we confine analytics to behavioral data, how can we account for more than behavioral data? Behaviorism is a psychological and educational theory which, as alluded to in the statement, is no longer in favor in most educational circles. The primary criticism of behaviorism in plain terms ... Tue, 07 Feb 2012 13:25:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 Model-building in EDM
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Feb 01, 2012
Ryan Baker's presentation on educational data mining today as part of the Learning Analytics and Knowledge MOOC helped me to better understand the model development concept in EDM. One of his slides listed several types of learner behaviors for which he developed models. When learners interacted with educational software, he was able to describe certain learner behavioral patterns (number of clicks, wait time between clicks, order of clicks, etc.) in such a way that if the data log files ... Wed, 01 Feb 2012 01:24:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 No Shadow Databases!
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Jan 31, 2012
Respondents to the ECAR study by Goldstein said that they have not had a lot of success in reducing the presence of shadow databases. Shadow databases are "silo" information systems maintained by separate functional units in the organization (or even within the same unit) which contain the same types of information, or perform similar functions. The problem is, usually they do NOT contain the same information. Shadow databases proliferate when there is weak oversight of the ... Mon, 30 Jan 2012 20:32:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 examples of 5 levels of sophistication
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Jan 31, 2012
Goldstein's Academic Analytics: The Uses of Management Information and Technology in Higher Education (2005) mentions "five levels of sophistication of use" of academic analytics. 1) transaction only: i.e. "How many students logged in to Course Y in the last 24 hours?" You would run a query on the learning management system but it would only happen on command. 2) "analysis and monitoring of operational performance": An illustration of might be: "What is the trend in ... Mon, 30 Jan 2012 18:54:00 +0000 [Comment]

#LAK12 Google vs. your English 101 instructor
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Jan 30, 2012
LA is fundamentally ethically different from the analysis done by online vendors because of power differentials. The relationship between you and your English 101 instructor, or your institution of higher education as a whole, is much different than your relationship between you and Google or Facebook or Amazon. When online, we often operate under the assumption that our activities are occurring in our bedrooms, so to speak. We don't always consciously operate as if our online ... Mon, 30 Jan 2012 18:26:00 +0000 [Comment]

Learning Analytics getting increasing library press...LAK12
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Jan 29, 2012
I've been Googling "learn* analyt*" and "librar*" from time to time for about a year now. A year ago, the only things that I could find were reports, not written by librarians, that mentioned academic library data as possible fodder for learning analytics and, of course, instances wherein "library" was used in a mere data sort of way, i.e. "data library." That's starting to change. Today I found: The Library Impact Data Project, a JISC-funded project in the UK in which systems ... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 01:12:00 +0000 [Comment]

LAK12 Learning Analytics: Some Questions from the Drive In
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Jan 26, 2012
Driving to work this morning in the light rain I brainstormed about some possible questions about learning analytics: What are the intellectual freedom and privacy implications of LA? Can/should LA data be used in evaluations of teachers? What are the philosophical assumptions/bases of LA? Is LA based on a behaviorist, humanist, progressive, etc. educational philosophy? Who owns the data generated by students? (I'm pretty sure I have seen this addressed in some of the literature, ... Thu, 26 Jan 2012 13:29:00 +0000 [Comment]

Analytics and the Academic Library: Peaceful Coexistence? LAK12
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Jan 26, 2012
There is one thing you must know about librarians: we prize intellectual freedom and the privacy of the individual user. For example, the American Library Association's "Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries" states: "The privacy of library users is and must be inviolable. Policies should be in place that maintain confidentiality of library borrowing records and of other information relating to personal use of library information and services." In many US states, ... Thu, 26 Jan 2012 02:59:00 +0000 [Comment]

LAK12: A Poem to Begin
Nancy, Libraries and Analytics, Jan 24, 2012
I can't help but recall a piece by one of my favorite poets which keeps me grounded in the technology and information onslaught. T.S. Eliot published this in 1934. "Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? " Opening Stanza from Choruses from "The Rock" The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven, The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit. O perpetual revolution of configured stars, O perpetual recurrence of determined ... Tue, 24 Jan 2012 21:00:00 +0000 [Comment]

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