Libraries and Learning Analytics: Facts, False Choices, and Future Forays
Free Online Presentation
Monday, November 15, 2021
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM CT
Presented via Zoom
Learning analytics offers a new tool in the library assessment toolbox, one that closes gaps left by other assessment methods but also raises myriad questions for librarians. As higher education institutions expand their learning analytics initiatives, librarians need to prepare to participate in learning analytics as campus partners. Librarians should be aware of current definitions and common deployment models for institutional learning analytics, understand the purposes and pitfalls of learning analytics as an approach to support student learning, and develop a plan for learning analytics engagement that fits their values as well as institutional and library needs. To advance this work, librarians need to know the facts, avoid false choices, and plan for deep engagement. This panel will open with introductory content defining learning analytics from a higher education perspective, outlining the purposes of learning analytics as an assessment approach in support of student success, and describing “false choices” that often derail discussions of learning analytics in the library community. Together, panelists and participants will engage in an interactive, “hands-on” activity to consider user stories, research questions, or data sources that can be used in library learning analytics and sort them into “high impact,” “low impact,” and “red flag” categories as a basis for guided discussion. The session will close with a conversation about unique roles librarians can play in learning analytics, next steps for research and practice in this work, and a list of discussion questions and readings for continuing the conversation at individual institutions.
Megan Oakleaf is an Associate Professor at Syracuse University’s iSchool. She is the PI of two IMLS grants on libraries and learning analytics, Library Integration in Institutional Learning Analytics and Connecting Libraries and Learning Analytics for Student Success.
Ken Varnum is a Senior Program Manager in Library Information Technology at the University of Michigan. He is the Technical Lead for the IMLS Library Learning Analytics Project and works with the library’s analytics data retention and access processes.
Rebecca Croxton, Head of Assessment at UNC Charlotte’s library, is the PI for a campus wide student success initiative focused on quantifying the role of student engagement with the library and other co-curricular and extracurricular activities.
This free presentation is sponsored by the ACRL University Libraries Section Professional Development Committee.
If you can’t make this session but wish to view a recording later, please register so that you’ll receive an email that includes a link to the video of the presentation. Please direct questions and concerns to Laura Gariepy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sam Harlow (email@example.com), co-chairs of the ACRL ULS Professional Development Committee. A full list of the committee’s past and future programs are available here.