The Future of Education with Learning Analytics

As new technologies have been developed and e-learning has begun to grow, the future of education may change drastically in the near future.  Learning analytics is “the use of data and models to predict student progress and performance, and the ability to act on that information” (Educause).  The process of learning analytics involves data collection, understanding behavior as a variable of progress, personalizing curriculum for each student, and being able to improve the system by understanding what has and has not worked.

These types of technologies have the ability to improve education through a system of individualized learning. Many in favor of this type of education refer back to how people learn in different ways, and how personalized learning can make sure that people are being educated in whatever way works best for them.  There are two significant problems with this.  The first is that, these people are assuming that all people learn effectively in a manner related to the computer or technology.  There is no afterthought about what would be missing from a general classroom with class dialogue, student-teacher discourse, and communal learning.  Additionally, many students might be auditory learners or the type that would not work well on their own with a computer.  Secondly, it is important for students to be exposed to various teaching and learning styles so that they can prepare themselves for their futures where they will certainly not be given individualized training and personalized tasks directed at however way they have come to understand they best learn.  It is imperative that we do not allow the individualized, capitalism mentality get too entrenched in all of our minds and further the issues that have resulted from such.

On the other hand, learning analytics could bring about great positive change for education.  In terms of tracking and allowing underserved students to work at their own pace whether faster or slower than the general class, this has the potential to do very well for some.  I believe it is important that while we allow technology to make significant changes in education, that we do not forget that people learn in different ways and there are significantly positive learning outcomes from group learning, dialogue, and work which should not be forgotten.


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