November 18, 2017

Desire2Learn moving to ‘predictive analytics’ with IBM

Sorry for the gap in posts over the last week. Funny how work gets in the way of blogging. I’ve been visiting some universities in Québec to catch up on e-learning in Canada’s francophone world, and I am also working on a contract for the design of a virtual university in Mexico. More on this later.

Howitt, C. (2012) Desire2Learn partners with IBM on e-learning Guelph, April 13

This announcement caught my eye, as it suggests a move to link big data and big data analysis directly into online learning. It is just an announcement at this stage of an agreement to work together on developing predictive analytics for online learning. This seems to be a move beyond just trawling through the student information system and LMS to building predictive models of online behaviour.

Watch this space for more discussion about learning analytics. I have a number of questions about who is designing the algorithims and the questions they are intended to answer, what assumptions are driving the design, who has access to the data, what rights students and instructors will have, and how institutions plan to use analytics from online teaching. However, I need some time to do this, so expect something later next month.