Session 5B | Paper 2 Learning Analytics: Supporting the Student Journey

Ethan Henry, Educational Technologist, City, University of London, Digital Education (LEaD)

Evana Downes, Assistant Educational Technologist, City, University of London, Digital Education (LEaD)


Learning analytics aims to combine sources of data and engagement into one dashboard so that members of staff can provide more personalised and relevant support. With the move to online teaching, data on virtual learning engagement has become a valuable way of identifying students at risk and in need of support throughout their programme.

Learning Analytics has been defined as “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their context, for the purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs.” (LAK, 2011).

There is increasing interest in the use of learning analytics in higher education, with many proponents suggesting that developments in this area could be beneficial in addressing a number of challenges. One of the key challenges this year has been providing and maintaining sufficient support throughout the move to online learning. With less face-to-face contact time, students are potentially at risk of feeling increasingly isolated and alone on their journey. Therefore, the use of online engagement data has become increasingly valuable. The potential use cases of learning analytics are wide and varied, including gaining greater insights into how learning takes place, identifying students at risk of withdrawing, improving pass rates, and delivering more personalised learning (Sclater, 2017).

At City, University of London, the Learning Analytics project (LeAP) has been taking a student-centred approach to the use of learning analytics. This involves student consultations, work with the student union, and emphasis on using learning analytics to support students as opposed to being used for punitive action. Since the beginning of this academic year, a learning analytics system has been piloted across the entire institution. This began with consultations and planning with Associate Deans Education, professional services staff within schools, and, where possible, Senior Personal Tutors. Initial plans for the use of learning analytics and engagement data were agreed, and training was provided for those involved. This process has been slowly expanding as student engagement and support plans have been developing. These student engagement and support plans are school based and detail who is responsible for reaching out to students, in what circumstances, and how those discussions should take place.

This session will provide an overview of learning analytics at City and share case studies from schools using learning analytics. It will outline the main processes taking place, as well as summarising some of the feedback students have provide about both the engagement process and learning analytics more generally.

Slides from the session


Recording of the session:

Paper 2 starts from 32:02 into the recording.


LAK11: 1st International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge. Retrieved from

Sclater, N., 2017. Learning analytics explained. Routledge.

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