#lak13 addressing learner issues with Stepup!: an evaluation

Simple visualisation tool to automatically or manually track student activity. Record activity across 3 courses for students keeping a record of time spent on each course activity. Students also required to keep a blog and publish tweets and comment on other student postings. Dashboard gives an oversight of each student’s activity across the course, visible to both student and tutor.  Students not required to use the dashboard, but for those who did, looked at student awareness and (self) reflection, sense making and impact on their learning, ie were there changes in behaviour.

Assessed impact on the usefulness of the tool by holding brainstorming feedback sessions with students and asking them to rank the importance of the approach for their learning. Yielded 34 key issues, eg over assessment, having a central point of information, motivation, communication within the study group, etc – some of which could be supported by the dashboard and others not. Also used Google analytics to see how well the dashboard was used, indicated an increase in use over time as students realised that it might be helpful to them. For example, students felt it helped them to understand how they spent their time but did help necessarily help them to know how to plan their time better. Students also felt that having more insight did not provide motivation in itself.

About sharonslade

Dr Sharon Slade is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Law at the Open University in the UK working to support both tutors and students on Open University distance learning modules and programmes. Her research interests encompass ethical issues in learning analytics and online learning and tuition. Project work includes the development of a student support framework to improve retention and progression and the development of a university wide tool for tracking students and triggering relevant and targeted interventions. She led the development of new policy around the ethical use of learning analytics within the Open University, UK.
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