Learning Analytics Roadmap: Where Can SmartKlass Take Your Moodle? [LAR Series #1]

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SmartKlass is a Moodle plugin that calculates basic activity and engagement metrics of students enrolled in a Moodle class or an institutional Moodle setup. The picture SmartKlass offers includes:

  • Students lagging behind.
  • Students for whom contents are not challenging enough.
  • Participation and results comparison across courses.
  • Student-group comparisons.

According to the “Fosway Analytics Maturity Model“, SmartKlass could be on the “Proactive Reporting” stage. Analytics Moodle plugins on this floor go beyond calculating averages over a canned set of metrics and include deviations about over set benchmarks. It is recommendable that organizations implement learning analytics
following the same stepping ladder. Gradual increases solve many
possible problems.

First, to begin with a basic set of metrics is easier than a more advanced one. Second, it allows the organization to assess the value of the information received and therefore the current need of a more complex data product. Postponing an investment in analytics is sometimes a wise decision. Getting to know a student is a gradual process of discovery. Last, but not least, it allows to “test the waters” of quantified learning. Showing students, teachers and staff a list of “smart indexes” to decide how good they are and what to do next can seem imposing and cause distrust, if they cannot see where those numbers come from. A culture of metrics in institutions advances best in smaller increments.

KlassData, the developer of SmartKlass, claims the plugin uses machine learning. Since it requires online access and a KlassData user account to activate the plugin, it is possible the plugin uses the personal data it collects from users.

For installation instructions, visit the Moodle directory page for SmartKlass Learning Analytics here. Or check out the GitHub repo here.

And for more on the dimensions of analytics, visit Moodle’s documentation.


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What is your organization’s floor on learning analytics?