The Learning Analytics Roadmap: Get Your Organization Enthusiastic With Analytics Graphs [LAR Series #4]

Through the ROI on Analytics Pyramid, it is possible to assess the current level of analytics literacy of your organization. This is also a starting point if your organization is considering to add an analytics component to your learning intervention.

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Click here to follow our series on The Learning Analytics Roadmap.

The Pyramid, as it has been developed so far by the ROI Institute Europe, proposes 5 stages of involvement of analytics in the core operations of learning organizations. These are divided in two segments, which for illustrative purpose you can think of as “High School” (ROI on Training) and “University” (ROI on Performance).

Let’s focus on the lower one. “High School” is all about getting acquainted with the world of analytics. This is the coming of age of your organization, where you are starting a transition into quantitative maturity. It is the time to explore, and build copious amounts of data about your organization. You might not find use in many of those collection activities. Don’t worry, and hang in there, because in the future, your organization’s unique set of recorded experiences will become its most valuable asset.

There are two levels on “High School”:

  1. Satisfaction. This is the most barebones way to evaluate a learning intervention, and it’s whether students liked it or not. Clearly this simple way presents many problems. Learning is not always pleasant, and guiding an intervention through this light will tend to cut down on activities associated with effort or drudge, feelings sometimes unavoidable in learning.
  2. Evaluation. In this level, you make sure the students acquire relevant knowledge, hopefully in practical or applicable ways. This is a broad level. You can provide multiple choice quizzes at the end of every module, or perform other structured assessments months after the intervention. As long as you are not beginning to analyze the impact of learning in operational contexts, you are still in this level.

This is about finding a relationship with data that works for your organization, and by extension all of your stakeholders: management, instructors, administrators, students. It does not even have to involve statistical depth. The offer of Moodle plugins is vast, and in many examples, such as the one we’re about to explore, visual.

Analytics Graphs Plugin for Moodle

Analytics graphs shows a series of quantitative relationships in visual form. While the graphs are statistical in nature, and some knowledge of statistical concepts may improve your decisions, the graphs should be worthwhile by themselves. Having said so, creating regular snapshots to compare, weekly or monthly for instance, should give you more insight about your students and how they are receiving your content.

The graphs offer some interactivity, such as zooming and customization. Some of the graphs you can create are

  • Rate of access to content and resources in pages inside and linked outside the Moodle course.
  • Rate of submissions, including fulfillment of deadlines.
  • User access distributions, which show how each student is accessing the course and contents.
  • Box plots of grades. They will show you average grades, the ranges of grades for the majority of your students, and outliers if there are any.

Other useful features include the ability to email students according to their behaviors, regarding content access and grades, right from the graphs pages.

Analytics Graphs stemmed from the mind of Brazilian developer Marcelo Schmitt. He has made sure the plugin is compatible with Moodle 2.7 to 3.1.

Find out more about Analytics Graphs in its Moodle plugin page, including download, install and usage instructions.

See the code, customize it and suggest edits through GitHub here.

By allowing tracking of grades, Analytics Graphs belongs in Evaluation grade. It should be considered as a starting point for teachers and administrators. If it finds out Evaluation grade plugin is not a robust enough measure for their needs, it might be time for a “University” level solution.

Is there an analytics plugin or solution that you would like us to review? Tell us which one in the comments! Or Contact Us here.

Moonami LogoThis Moodle Technology related post is made possible by: Moonami a company that provides a full range of Moodle services that combine the flexibility, scalability, and power of Amazon’s world-leading cloud platform (AWS) with fanatical Moodle support. Click here to learn more.


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