As eLearning professionals, we are constantly scouting for new tools and technologies that will help shape our next project. The landscape is constantly evolving and one must be able to adapt to it in order to remain competitive. However, in looking ahead to new challenges we oftentimes overlook the vast amount of data that has been collected from previous projects that, if interpreted properly, can have a significant impact on future eLearning designs.
Learning management systems collect a wealth of data from users each time they access their online learning, and tracking tools can provide additional information to help us better understand the behaviors of the end-users in using our products. In some cases, eLearning professionals may not have access to the server data or they may not even be aware that it exists. Others may find the amount of information collected overwhelming to the point that they either ignore it or stick with whatever the system will summarize for them.
Shown at DevLearn 2013, in Las Vegas our presentation aimed to reacquaint anyone who had a stake in designing, developing, and/or teaching an eLearning course to the benefits of taking the time to revisit the “E” in ADDIE.
By periodically revisiting eLearning courses by mining the user data, eLearning professionals will uncover a wealth of easily-attainable information that can have an immediate impact on current offerings and help shape future projects. And best of all, you also don’t need to be a statistician to do this!
This session demonstrated how learning analytics can inform instructional design and delivery by demonstrating concrete examples of how data can be collected, interpreted, and used to improve an eLearning course and to influence future projects.
In addition to the basic information that can be easily mined via a learning management system, we explored common tools that can be used to collect and manipulate user data so that meaningful information can be extracted and employed.
Participants have been introduced to a series of successful practices and tips that have been used by instructional designers and online course instructors to enhance the online course experience of all stakeholders, particularly in asynchronous Web-based courses.
Attendees have taken away a bevy of tools and techniques that they can easily adopt in their own organizations and have been suggested concrete ways that their eLearning designs can be quickly modified in response to newfound information. These timely improvements will have an immediate impact on end-user satisfaction and performance (Kirkpatrick Levels 1 and 2), as well as on the dropout rate of the learners.
Furthermore, the session allowed for participants to share their own experiences on the topic in order to continue the discussion beyond the confines of the conference.
If you missed our live presentation, click the following link to access the pdf. version: DevLearn2013_LearningAnalytics.pdf (3.67 mb)
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Patrick Devey is the chief learning officer at KnowledgeOne. His research interests focus on successful practices in online course design, student attrition in online courses, learning analytics, and the training of new online instructors.