SLATE Guest Lecture: Rebecca Ferguson

September 26, 2017


Ferguson is one of Europe's leading Learning Analytics researchers.

She has extensive experience from the Open University UK,

which she will share with us!



Learning analytics: developing an action plan

Who: Rebecca Ferguson, Senior Lecturer

When: 27 September 14:15-15:30

Where: SLATE, Christiesgate 13, 3rd floor





The promise of learning analytics is that they will enable us to understand and optimize learning and the environments in which it takes place.


The intention is to develop models, algorithms, and processes that can be widely used. In order to do this, we need to help people to move from small-scale initiatives towards large-scale implementation. This is a tough challenge, because educational institutions are stable systems, resistant to change. To avoid failure and maximize success, implementation of learning analytics at scale requires careful consideration of the entire ‘TEL technology complex’. This complex includes the different groups of people involved, the educational beliefs and practices of those groups, the technologies they use, and the specific environments within which they operate.


Providing reliable and trustworthy analytics is just one part of implementing analytics at scale. It is also important to develop a clear strategic vision, assess institutional culture critically, identify potential barriers to adoption, develop approaches that can overcome these, and put in place appropriate forms of support, training, and community building.




Rebecca Ferguson is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at The Open University, UK, and a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Her primary research interests are educational futures and how people learn together online.


Rebecca is an executive member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SOLAR) and a leading member of the international learning analytics community. Her work has been influential in shaping the field, supporting implementation across Europe, and promoting a focus on social learning analytics. She has been invited to lead events in this area on five continents, including several associated with her work as principal investigator on the European Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE) and on LAEP, a project that helped European policymakers to set out an agenda for high-quality and stimulating ways of learning and teaching through the use of learning analytics.



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