How analytics can inform learning design

Blog by John Murphy, Learning Designer

In Australia and New Zealand two primary ways of using learning analytics (LA) are emerging (ALASI, 2017):

1) institutions that explore LA for the purposes of improving retention and reducing attrition

2) those that explore LA for the purposes of improving learning design and the environment where it occurs.

At the University of Adelaide, academic and professional staff have been collaborating to explore the growing potential of analytics to enhance learning and teaching, identify students at risk and provide early intervention.

New analytics feature in MyUni

From early 2018, instructors will see a new LA dashboard (LMS Analytics) in MyUni (on the course navigation menu). This new dashboard – designed ‘in-house’ – supplements the standard MyUni Analytics feature (top right on course homepage) by focusing on course content.

With this tool instructors have the capacity to review course content with these data

  • Views
  • Participations (e.g. in discussions)
  • Counts of students who have/have not viewed or participated

Teaching staff can explore this and other data in MyUni to

  • Identify and monitor course activity and performance
  • Identify students who may be at risk
  • Inform interventions
  • Identify underused content
  • Send timely reminders to students

Students can also view course data in MyUni on grade distribution and levels of engagement in the course.

Not just about data

But LA is not only about data. Dashboards alone – while providing some insight into course activity – are not enough.

At the ALASI conference (2017) a model was proposed with Learning Analytics at the centre of three intersecting circles of theory, design (including learning design and user Interface design) and data, with context as the over-riding factor.


Field of Research and Practice: Gašević, D., Kovanović, V., & Joksimović, S. (2017).

Begin with a good question

The true power of learning analytics begins with a good question. For example, a recent LA investigation into a number of high failure rate (HFR) courses showed a correlation between results in assignments pre-census date and overall performance in the course. There is now a requirement to include at least one pre-census date assignment in every first year course from S1, 2018.

Accessing reports beyond course level

If you wish to view data beyond your MyUni course, you can visit our Learning Analytics website where you can log in to access, filter and request reports by faculty, course or program.

Community of Practice

If you are interested in exploring the growing potential of analytics to enhance learning and teaching from an academic perspective, join the Learning Analytics Community of Practice here.

The community of practice meets monthly and aims to investigate academic performance and enhance course delivery while promoting understanding of good practice.

Where can I get support?

For queries regarding reports, please email  Reports are also now available directly or on demand from the Learning Analytics intranet site.

For technical assistance with Analytics in MyUni or Echo360 ALP, please contact MyUni Support at ext. 33000 (9-5pm) or drop into the Cog on Level 7 of the Kenneth Wills Building (9am-4pm).

Gašević, D., Kovanović, V., & Joksimović, S. (2017). Piecing the Learning Analytics Puzzle: A Consolidated Model of a Field of Research and Practice. Learning: Research and Practice, 3(2), 63‐78. doi:10.1080/23735082.2017.1286142
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