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Library Research Guides

Learning Analytics at the University of Michigan and Beyond

Provides information about learning analytics initiatives at the University of Michigan and at other colleges and universities.


This guide page is hosted by the Learning Analytics Task Force of Instruction Steering Committe at the University of Michigan Library. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at 

Example of Learning Analytics Organizations and Programs

What is Learning Analytics?

As learning analytics is an emergent field, there are a variety of definitions for what constitutes this specific brand of analytics. Some of the more commonly accepted definitions include:

  • "The measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learning and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs." 
  • The evaluation of large data sets "with the specific goal of improving learning outcomes, which could be measured by grades, retention, or completion. Learning analytics collects and analyzes the 'digital breadcrumbs' that students leave as they interact with various computer systems to look for correlations between those activities and learning outcomes."
  • Differentiated from academic analytics and predictive analytics, learning analytics is "the use of analytic techniques to help target instructional, curricular, and support resources to support the achievement of specific learning goals."
  • Learning analytics uses data to inform decision-making; leverages data to identify students in need of academic support; and allows for direct user interaction with a tool to engage in some form of sensemaking that supports a subsequent action.

Analyze This: Learning Analytics At UM And In Libraries

This is video recording of an event at Hacther Graduate Library Gallery held on Sept. 25, 2013.

What is learning analytics? What’s happening on campus with analytics? How can it help inform my interaction with students? Watch the first event of the Learning Analytics Series, and learn the answers to these questions and more. Steve Lonn, USE Lab Assistant Director and Library Learning Analytics Specialist presents an introduction to the topic and leads our discussion.

Analyze This: A Panel Conversation On Ethics And Privacy In Learning Analytics

This is a panel discussion at Hacther Graduate Library Gallery held on Nov 19, 2013.

What ethical requirements do researchers and institutions have for protecting student data? What is the institutional obligation to inform students once the institution “knows” something about academic performance; and how do students respond? How does learning analytics avoid being “creepy”? Chanel Beebe (Engineering Student), Lisa Emery (ITS), Mika LaVaque-Manty (Political Science & Philosophy), Cynthia Shindledecker (IRB), and Stephanie Teasley (Information & USE Lab) participated in a panel conversation exploring these questions.