The dinosaur that lost its head: A contribution to a framework using Learning Analytics in Learning Design

  • René Boyer Christiansen
  • Karsten Gynther
  • Rasmus Jørnø


This paper presents an approach to the meaningful use of learning analytics as a tool for teachers to improve the robustness of their learning designs. The approach is based on examining how participants act within a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) format through learning analytics. We show that a teacher/designer can gain knowledge about his or her intended, implemented and attained learning design; about how MOOC participants act in response to these and about how students are able to develop ‘study efficiency’ when participating in a MOOC. The learning analytics approach makes it possible to follow certain MOOC students and their study behaviour (e.g. the participants who pass the MOOC by earning enough achievement badges) and to examine the role of the moderator in MOOCs, showing that scaffolding plays a central role in studying and learning processes in an educational format such as a MOOC.

Key words: MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, data-saturated, learning analytics, learning design, educational design research, LMS.


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