The Power of Analytics for Research, Learning and Teaching: A Critical Perspective

Event Type: Research Lecture

Event Theme: Evidence-based Practice

Speaker: Prof. Bart Rienties (Professor of Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK)

Date: 21 May 2019 (Tuesday)

Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Venue: RLB502, Research Complex, HKSYU

Language: English



1) Refreshment will be provided. 
2) Free Admission.
3) Registration is not compulsory but recommended for seat-reservation and news update.


Across the globe institutions are exploring the opportunities technology affords to provide a better, more consistent, and more personalised service to their students and stakeholders. In particular, the development of (learning) analytics may empower higher education institutions to provide near real-time actionable feedback to teachers and students about what the “best” next step in their learning journeys might be. For example, several institutions have started to explore the use of learning analytics dashboards that can display learner and learning behaviour to teachers and instructional designers in order to provide more real-time, or just-in-time support for students. Learning analytics might provide opportunities for (semi-) automatic personalisation as well as increased flexibility of online provision, while at the same time potentially benefiting from efficiency and retention gains when providing education at scale. It may also empower a new wave of research in how to optimally use resources in an effective manner. Nonetheless, there are several critics towards these analytics and data-centred movements. Some critics tend to focus on the perceived dilution of the role of humans as a provider of the personal support role to (semi-) automated support provisions. In this university-wide lecture, I aim to provide a balanced perspectives of the affordances and limitations of analytics. By linking research with practice, I aim to provide examples of how to get published in world-leading journals, and how to translate research evidence into practice.


About the Presenter

Dr. Bart Rienties is Professor of Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK. He is programme director Learning Analytics within IET and head of Data Wranglers, whereby he leads of group of learning analytics academics who conduct evidence-based research and sense making of Big Data at the OU. As educational psychologist, he conducts multi-disciplinary research on work-based and collaborative learning environments and focuses on the role of social interaction in learning, which is published in leading academic journals and books. His primary research interests are focussed on Learning Analytics, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and the role of motivation in learning. Furthermore, Bart is interested in broader internationalisation aspects of higher education. He has successfully led a range of institutional/national/European projects and received a range of awards for his educational innovation projects. More info at

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