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Questions as data: illuminating the potential of learning analytics through questioning an emergent field

Mason, Jon, Chen, Weiqin and Hoel, Tore (2016). Questions as data: illuminating the potential of learning analytics through questioning an emergent field. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning,11(12).

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Questions as data: illuminating the potential of learning analytics through questioning an emergent field
Author Mason, Jon
Chen, Weiqin
Hoel, Tore
Journal Name Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning
Publication Date 2016
Volume Number 11
Issue Number 12
eISSN 1793-7078
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication Singapore
Publisher SpringerOpen
Abstract In providing a meta-analysis of a series of workshop papers and questions arising on the emergent field of learning analytics, this paper contributes to the ongoing formation of a shared research agenda. The first ICCE Learning Analytics workshop in 2014 demonstrated the effectiveness of a focused questioning session for collecting relevant data beyond the content of the papers themselves. In December 2014, approximately 40 participants attended the workshop held in Nara, Japan, and contributed to the collection of open research questions. Six papers were presented covering topics including scope; interoperability standards; privacy and control of individual data, extracting data from learning content and processes; and the development of conceptual frameworks. These papers established a base from which the group generated a set of questions that invite further investigation. Utilising the first stage of the Question Formulation Technique, a pedagogical approach designed to stimulate student inquiry, a prominent finding from the workshop that questions emerging from focused inquiry provide a useful set of data in their own right. With an explicit workshop focus on learning analytics interoperability, this paper reports on the emergent issues identified in the workshop and the kinds of questions associated with each issue in the context of current research in the field of learning analytics. The study considers the complexity arising from the fact that data associated with learning is itself becoming a digital learning resource while also enabling analysis of learner behaviours and systems usage.
Keywords Learning analytics
Question formulation
Research agenda
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Additional Notes This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
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Created: Wed, 28 Sep 2016, 11:55:23 CST by Marion Farram