Enabling Connected Learning via Open-Source Analytics in the Wild: Learning Analytics Beyond the Learning Management System

People do only a small part of their learning within the confines of a Learning Management System (LMS). Lifelong learners ask questions of their friends in Facebook, tune into twitter chats, find code repositories on GitHub, read and write blogs on WordPress, and look up information on StackExchange. For this reason, there is an increase in instructors seeking to engage their students where they are, by teaching “in the wild” or beyond the confines of the LMS, but very few Learning Analytics solutions exist for this user group. This project seeks to fill this gap by creating the Connected Learning Analytics (CLA) toolkit, an open source solution for aggregating and then analyzing data from standard social media environments.

Privacy is preserved by only collecting data if students choose to associate their social media accounts with the CLA toolkit. Data is then collected by interfacing with social media APIs for specific Learning Activities and storing the data in xAPI format. Both instructor and student facing analytics solutions then help people to understand and perhaps modify their behavior in real time. This process aims to encourage our learners towards a more reflective and self-aware curation of learning data that can be used to both claim competency and identify areas for improvement.

Current functionality includes data collection from Twitter, WordPress blogs, Facebook, GitHub, and Trello, with dashboards for activity, social network analysis tools, and content analysis.


Dr. George Siemens