Tech Report

Social Learning Analytics

We propose that the design and implementation of effective Social Learning Analytics presents significant challenges and opportunities for both research and enterprise, in three important respects. The first is the challenge of implementing analytics that have pedagogical and ethical integrity, in a context where power and control over data is now of primary importance. The second challenge is that the educational landscape is extraordinarily turbulent at present, in no small part due to technological drivers. Online social learning is emerging as a significant phenomenon for a variety of reasons, which we review, in order to motivate the concept of social learning, and ways of conceiving social learning environments as distinct from other social platforms. This sets the context for the third challenge, namely, to understand different types of Social Learning Analytic, each of which has specific technical and pedagogical challenges. We propose an initial taxonomy of five types. We conclude by considering potential futures for Social Learning Analytics, if the drivers and trends reviewed continue, and the prospect of solutions to some of the concerns that institution-centric learning analytics may provoke.

Publication(s)

NOTE: This 2011 Technical Report was withdrawn on 11 Sept. 2012, having been subsumed by two peer reviewed publications: see the PDF coversheet for details.

ID: kmi-11-01

Date: 2011

Author(s): Simon Buckingham Shum,Rebecca Ferguson

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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have recently come to the fore through high profile providers such as Udacity, Coursera, edX and the OUís own FutureLearn. According to some commentators this new initiative will radically change the higher education landscape through the provision of high quality freely available educational materials. The FORGE project will apply technologies related to rich interactive eBooks, social networking learning platforms and Linked Data to turn large scale Future...

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