Blog Archives

Getting to Know Ourselves (Really)


By Alyssa Wise, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University.

How much do you really know about how you learn best? While most of us would like to think that we know ourselves pretty well, research shows that our recollections of how we go about learning something (or studying for a test or writing an essay) are actually quite poor.

This is an area in which learning analytics can be especially helpful by providing us with accurate data about what we do when learn online and whether or not how we are currently going about things is effective for us.

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The importance of context


By Julià Minguillón, Associate Professor, UOC-eLC.

We are living in the information age. Or maybe in the knowledge one, according to the DIKW pyramid, which stands for data, information, knowledge and wisdom. But there is neither information nor knowledge without data, which is nowadays massively and continuously generated.

As inhabitants of a digital world, all our actions are under a constant surveillance, and we leave a myriad of traces of even the most mundane everyday experiences. We voluntarily use our smartphones, credit cards or ID badges, leaving such digital traces, but we are also involuntarily recorded in traffic cameras or when browsing the Internet, for instance.

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Shedding light on personal data, analytics and education

Angel A. Juan

By Angel A. Juan, Associate Professor, UOC – IN3.

Welcome to this new blog on Analytics and its social impact on Business, Smart Cities, and, specially, Education. In particular, through the opening question of the blog we are interested in analyzing how Analytics and Big Data are transforming our society, from the way people move around modern cities to the way governments and enterprises use customers’ data — sometimes crossing ethical boundaries — to infer and influence their behavior.

In effect, organizations have now access to an enormous amount of personal data describing our habits, tastes, and social or professional links. The proper combination of these data with current computing power and analytic methods allow these organizations to extract and infer individual and collective behavior patterns.

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About the Question
Are Big Data & Analytics shaping a smarter society?

Every day we generate a huge amount of big data, but we need to resort to analytics to make abstract information meaningful and get valuable knowledge from it. In education, learning platforms let us easily gather an immense quantity of data regarding students’ behaviour, interactions, preferences and opinions. When properly analysed — through learning analytics — all these data might provide useful insight on how to make learning processes more adaptive, attractive and efficient.

Are these techniques allowing us to provide better support to our students? Are we taking advantage of big data and analytics to help shape the citizens of the future?

Big Data and Simheuristics