Learner Analytics – and ELESIG Symposium at University of Liverpool

On 4th November, an international gathering of 33 ELESIG members took part in the ELESIG symposium on Learner Analytics, which was hosted by the University of Liverpool. It was a pleasure to be part of organising this event, and the fact that many came from a distance was a testament to the interest in this topic. For those not familiar with ELESIG, it is a special interest group with a remit of  developing a shared repertoire of resources which will be of benefit to the community and the sector and which build on shared knowledge and practice about learner experience research.

ELESIG  co-founder Prof Rhona Sharpe, Oxford Brookes University opened the event by celebrating  the fact that ELESIG is now 5 years old – remarking how a long time for a SIG to thrive and further evidence of the continuing commitment and enthusiasm of its members.

Below is the day’s summary from Jaye McIsaac, ELESIG grant holder, member and my colleague at the University of Liverpool, with links to slides and the interviews held with each speaker.

Prof Chris Jones, Liverpool John Moores University on ‘Learner and student experience in an age of austerity: how is the agenda set?‘, gave us the big picture of the relationship between the student learning experience and in an age of austerity.  He got us thinking about the new sources of analytics used in Higher Education and how the data is managed and owned – just a few of the cautions and considerations.

Reflecting on
Presentation summary by Prof Chris Jones on ‘learner and student experience in an age of austerity: how is the agenda set?’ [interview available to those joining the ELESIG community at elesig.ning.com]
This was followed by two practical examples:

Dr Cath Ellis, University of Huddersfield on ‘Assessment Analytics: should we do it and, if so, what might it look like?’ focussed on the risks and benefits of assessment analytics, interrogating assessment and e-learning technologies to harvest data at a more meaningful level. With a range of tools available, she reminded use of the need to use them with care.

Dr Cath Ellis
Dr Cath Ellis, presentation summary on ‘Assessment Analytics’  [interview available to those joining the ELESIG community at elesig.ning.com]
Prof Luke Dawson, University of Liverpool, introduced us to a tool designed at the University of Liverpool – LIFTUPP (Longitudinal Integrated Fully Transferable Undergraduate Postgraduate Portfolio) – that usefully identifies longitudinal patterns of student’s competencies for learning.  Feedback to students and action plans enables them to see where changes are made. Both students and staff report the tool as beneficial for their learning and teaching.  
Prof Luke Dawson presentation summary on LIFTUPP
Prof Luke Dawson presentation summary on LIFTUPP [interview available to those joining the ELESIG community at elesig.ning.com]
We finished the day in Member’s Corner with a whistle-stop tour of projects, new ideas, advice requests and some big questions!Thanks to contributing speakers, to Rhona Sharpe for coordination and advice, to the University of Liverpool team in making this event happen and to all of you for making the time to attend and actively participate and contribute. “

We also talked about setting up a North-West ELESIG group; there are similar groups: ELESIG Midlands, ELESIG Wales and ELESIG Scotland. If anyone is interested in becoming a member, please joint the ELESIG community and join our ELESIG North West regional group on there – we look forward to getting together with all those enthusiastic about learner experience research.

Jaye McIsaac, Educational Development &  Tünde Varga-Atkins, eLearning Unit, University of Liverpool

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