October 14, 2019

Learner Facing Analytics report

The IRU has published a new report exploring student understandings and concerns in relation to the collection and use of learning analytics.

Titled “Learner Facing Analytics: Analysis of Student Perspectives”, the report is the result of a two-year student-focused project that aimed to:

  • explore student understandings and concerns in relation to learning analytics
  • gather student input on the types of learning analytics reports, dashboards and tools that will be most useful in supporting student success
  • develop a series of principles to guide institutions in the creation of student-facing dashboards
  • identify the processes and training required to support students and staff to make sense of the data presented in dashboards and improve student success.

A core component of this work was a survey of 2017 students across the IRU and focus group participation from 34 students (also from across the IRU network).

The project authors are Deborah West (Flinders University), Bill Searle (Charles Darwin University), Jessica Vanderlelie (La Trobe University), Danny Toohey (Murdoch University), Ann Luzeckyj (Flinders University) and Kevin Bell (Western Sydney University).


The final recommendations of the report are below. See the full report for context and more information about the conclusions.

  1. Universities are explicit about the data they are collecting, how it is going to be used and for what purpose when seeking informed consent from students.
  2. Students are reminded at least once per year about data that is being collected.
  3. Universities focus on developing student-facing dashboards related to: the provision of additional services or materials related to study (regardless of student grades); showing progression through subject material; providing information on how students might change their study habits to improve final grades.
  4. Universities exhibit caution when providing dashboards which include data that compares a student’s progress with others in their class or cohort.
  5. Students are provided with the option to turn dashboards and push notifications triggered by learning analytics on and off and advised of any consequences regarding these actions. 6. Universities exhibit caution when collecting ‘academic’ and ‘non-academic’ data and using it to trigger student support services.

The full report is now available to download here, or from the Publications page of the IRU website.

Read the full “Learner Facing Analytics” report (PDF)

Watch the authors’ report presentation on YouTube