In the recent MoodleMoot Australia, ACTE Educational Technologist Julian Davies showcased his developments on student behavior. ACTE, or the Australian College of Training and Employment, prepares the youth for the future. It provides educational leadership for the workforce.
ACTE provided Davis the environment to develop a plugin that would give insight about vocational propensities on 13,000 distance students. Before the implementation, ACTE held online courses on Moodle but was failing to account for “what students were doing online“. But before finding out the analytics tools offered within Moodle Davis & Co. played around with PIWIK, and open source, all-purpose analytics service.
PIWIK enabled Davis team to gather information about access, browsers, activity and downloads, in an effort closely resembling targeted online advertising. But as Moodle became the focus of study, Davis soon realized the next step was Moodle plugin development. They proceeded to create a plugin and offer extra services, such as cached data and an AJAX interface.
They linked a Moodle setup with their analytics engine server. This gave them a rich data repository from which to perform machine learning. Next, they developed personalized student dashboards for administrators to access. The dashboard provides details and a summary about the students’ access behavior, including browser and device, among other variables.