Increasing numbers of states and school districts are seeing the value of using learning analytics to help improve the quality of education they are able to provide to students, according to a new paper from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report, titled Capacity Enablers and Barriers for Learning Analytics: Implications for Policy and Practice, provides examples of how states and districts are moving “from being data collectors to being data analyzers, able to use the vast amount of information being collected in a secure, practical, customized, and predictive system. Ultimately, many of the examples provide a glimpse into how districts are preparing to take advantage of learning analytics to meet the needs of each student.”
The paper states that the biggest challenge to implementing learning analytics is building capacity, and it offers suggestions for improving data policies and practices to help this happen. The report also offers examples of states and districts that are putting new types of data and assessment systems into practice.
Noting that policies and guidelines at the federal, state, and district levels have a direct impact on the potential implementation and use of learning analytics, the paper offers these recommendations for leaders at all levels:
- Federal education leaders should continue to clarify and provide technical assistance on FERPA and COPPA; work to increase the cap on E-Rate funding; and embed incentives that support learning analytics in the next ESEA reauthorization.
- State education leaders should consider policies that leverage Common Core State Standards and College and Career Readiness Standards; include learning analytics as a required aspect of teacher certification, preparation, and evaluation; ensure compliance with the Data Quality Campaign; and address the connection between learning analytics and competency-based learning.
- Local education leaders should consider policies that elevate learning analytics as an essential component of professional development and include adequate guidance on the responsible use of technology and student data.
Visit this page on the Alliance for Excellent Education’s website to access the executive summary and full text of Capacity Enablers and Barriers for Learning Analytics.
Click here for information about the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group’s Fall Policy Exchange on September 11, which covers a variety of critical issues—including student data privacy—affecting the learning resource market.