Learning analytics for students: synthesis of two user needs studies in Finnish higher education
Abstract: Recent research has suggested that in learning analytics research and development, students as the users of learning analytics have been left in the periphery. There is a need to engage students as the users of learning analytics. This paper presents common findings from two national level projects in higher education in Finland that focus on developing learning analytics especially for the students. Both have conducted a student-centered needs analysis in order to understand the students’ learning and study experience, and their attitudes, expectations, and concerns of learning analytics, privacy and the use of their data. Data was collected with focus group workshops which combined interviews and co-creation methods. In both of the projects, data from these workshops were analyzed using thematic analysis. The results show that learning analytics development and high-quality pedagogical design should proceed in parallel. Results from these studies will be used to design pedagogically meaningful learning analytics pilots, and recommendations for the use of learning analytics in higher education.