AAT - The Academic Analytics Tool
With the rapid and ongoing adoption of online courses in post-secondary education, and significant increases in enrolments to underserved student populations, there is a pressing need to ensure that course offerings are meeting the needs of learners and adapting to changes in the post-secondary market. Despite this, teachers and learning designers typically get very little feedback about the how students use online courses, and the effectiveness and appropriateness of learning materials/activities. Yet, modern Learning Management Systems (LMSs) log and store vast amounts of data about every action students take while interacting with their courses, instructors, and learning materials/activities. To date, this information is readily available to database administrators for export and analysis, but access to those who develop learning materials and teach online courses is limited as there is a high level of technical proficiency required to access, investigate and analyze such data.
The goal of the Academic Analytics Tool (AAT) is to address this gap by allowing users without computer science skills (e.g., teachers, learning designers, etc.) to directly access and analyze the huge amounts of educational data stored within LMSs. The tool guides users step-by-step through user-friendly wizard-like interfaces and therefore allows users to "ask" questions to the LMS databases and get answers to almost limitless questions about learners' behavior and the impact of teaching methods and learning designs.