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Read more Andrew Downes

Learning & Interoperability

Consultant

Watershed

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Learning Analytics: It's

clearer than you think

In the December issue of this magazine,

Donald Taylor's editorial asked what the

phrase 'learning analytics' means in a

corporate context. Well, it means different

things to different people, he explained. As

part of a team that specialises in this area, I've

been talking to people about learning and

performance analytics for nearly half a decade

now and found the same thing.

That's why we set out to define learning

analytics in the corporate context back in

2016-so businesses can have a blueprint to

work against as they continue to shift focus

toward data-driven learning programmes.

Based on research of existing definitions,

feedback from measurement experts, and

evaluation of real-world organisations, here's

our definition:

Learning analytics is the measurement,

collection, analysis and reporting of data

about learners, learning experiences, and

learning programmes, for purposes of

understanding and optimising learning and its

impact on an organisation's performance.

Three years later, this definition holds true, as

it reflects how Fortune 1000 companies-

such as Visa, PwC, Caterpillar and more-

evaluate organisational training and

performance. And as you'll see, this definition

of corporate learning analysis spans many

angles across learners, programmes and

experiences. To help break this down, I

worked with several colleagues to develop a

method to characterise how real

organisations implement these analytics. The

model illustrates three categories and four

levels of complexity for analysing learning.

Categories of Learning Analytics

First, the triangle divides analytics into three

categories:

1.Learning Experiences

These analytics seek to understand more

about specific learning activities. They are

often most useful to the L&D team and

others responsible for the learning

experience.

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