Saturday, October 25, 2014

Week 1 Assignment -- DALMOOC

I had planned to join the course from the very beginning and attend all the introductory sessions synchronously. Unfortunately, the best laid plans and all that... Between travel and some unexpected projects at work, I have found myself catching up asynchronously over the weekend.

First I want to say thanks to all the instructors and participating experts who have worked so hard and with such thoughtfulness in putting this course together. I had the benefit of joining Prosolo after other intrepid souls had wandered about and asked questions about how to accomplish various tasks, so my experience there was not as confusing as it may have been for some. I think the tool has much potential and it is definitely they type of environment required for more open-ended learning. I have also appreciated the "dual" nature of the course design, which makes it a bit easier for people who haven't either the time/inclination to participate in a fully networked manner. Finally, I have found the recorded video presentations and discussions helpful.

I liked the idea of the tools matrix as well. I think this is particularly valuable as I am certain most of us taking the course have some experience with data analysis but often in areas other than learning analytics. In my case, for example, I have spent the past four years working on various projects related to price and sales analysis related to e-commerce and, in particular, textbooks. We have used a variety of database/analysis tools, ranging from MarkLogic to Tableau. We have also worked with Google Analytics, and used these tools to mine usage data related to e-textbook reading and resource access.

When I think about learning analytics, I must admit that what really interests me is learning. How can we understand the process more deeply? How can we use that understanding to improve the learning efficacy and overall experience of individual learners?

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