A practitioner’s guide to learning analytics


  • Cathy Gunn
  • Jenny McDonald
  • Claire Donald
  • John Milne
  • Mark Nichols
  • Eva Heinrich




Learning analytics, learning technology research, case study


A growing body of literature identifies learning analytics as an emergent field of research that can deepen our understanding of learning and inform learning design practice. However, realizing the potential is not straightforward, as even defining learning analytics is vexed. For teachers and learning designers, the practical issue of how to engage with learning analytics data is problematic. This discussion paper begins by outlining the background to learning analytics at a practice level. Next, we introduce learning analytics frameworks, and one in particular that serves our aim to develop a guide for practitioners wishing to engage with learning analytics for different purposes. We will develop and refine the guide by mapping it to case-studies at NZ tertiary institutions, and through discussion with practitioners internationally. Our goal is to make analytics data more accessible and useful to teachers, learning designers and institutions.