How much can we mine from a mouseclick? Data Analytics on VLE Access Data

Smeaton, Alan (2014) How much can we mine from a mouseclick? Data Analytics on VLE Access Data. In: 7th Annual Higher Education Institutional Research conference, 8th - 9th September, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England.


A catchphrase of the modern era is that we live in a data-driven society, but what does that actually mean? It means that decisions made in so many parts of our society are not now driven by planning, or logic, or reasoning, but are driven by statistics and patterns derived from raw data. Insights into consumer behaviour, transport, healthcare, entertainment, sports, the stock market, and many more, all are shifting to a model of operation where data, information derived from sensors or from purchasing transactions or from the movement of people or from whatever source, are the drivers for decision-making. So what about data-driven education? Predictive data analytics is a form of data science where historical data from some activity can be used to predict future activity. In this presentation I describe work on-going at Dublin City University where we are mining past student engagement with a virtual learning environment, to predict behaviour and outcomes for current students. I will outline the kinds of insights that can be derived from just a single mouseclick and how that can used as input into incentivised interaction with educational content, almost gamifying the interaction. Concrete examples of the work we are undertaking in Dublin will be used to illustrate the presentation which may just be taking us close to a form of data-driven education.

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