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Melanie Booth Published in Educause Review

Dr. Melanie Booth, nationally recognized expert on learning assessment, published an article titled Learning Analytics: The New Black in the July 2012 issue of Educause Review Online.

In this article, Booth explores the emerging discussions around learning analytics, connecting to recognized principles of assessment as identified by the American Association for Higher Education. She suggests educators "...look back to the past work from the learning outcomes and assessment movement and look forward to the propositions for the future of learning assessment to ensure that analytics ultimately serves learning in a meaningful way..."

Dr. Booth is Dean of Learning and Assessment at Marylhurst University.

Excerpts from Learning Analytics: The New Black
by Melanie Booth in Educause Review Online, July 18, 2012

Learning analytics is the "measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs," according to the 1st International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge.

Indeed, learning analytics may hold great promise as a way to support learning assessment and as a higher education "movement." The potential of learning analytics to combine information from multiple and disparate sources, to foster more-effective learning conditions in real time, and to enable multiple focal points for analysis and improvement is enticing. However, even though learning analytics offers powerful tools and practices to improve the work of learning and assessment, well-considered principles and propositions for learning assessment should inform its careful adoption and use. Otherwise, learning analytics risks becoming a reductionist approach for measuring a bunch of "stuff" that ultimately doesn't matter. In my world, learning matters.

Educational technologists and teaching, learning, and assessment professionals need to get together to ensure appropriate, principled uses of this potentially powerful technology so that it will support the kinds of learning we value.

First, we should enact and promote a collaborative scholarship of teaching, learning, assessment, and educational technologies. Second, we should intentionally break down existing institutional organizational silos that prevent us from working and learning together. Third, we all should continue to be highly aware of what aspects of learning cannot be measured, as well as the very real limits of technology for addressing the uniquely human and inherently social process that is learning.

Read the full article on

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