Learning analytics indicators

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General indicators

  • Course accessed after end date
  • Course accessed before start date
  • Any write action
  • Any write action in the course
  • Read actions amount
  • Activities due
  • Completion tracking enabled
  • There are no students
  • There are no teachers
  • User profile is completed
  • User is tracking forums

Community of Inquiry indicators

A set of indicators is provided that are based on the Community of Inquiry model of student engagement, consisting of three parts:

  • Cognitive presence
  • Social presence
  • Teacher presence

Cognitive depth

Cognitive depth is a measure of the construct "cognitive presence" within the Community of Inquiry theoretical framework. Cognitive presence is defined as “The extent to which the participants in any particular configuration of a community of inquiry are able to construct meaning through sustained communication” (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000, p 89). Cognitive presence has usually been determined in research by manual content analysis. In this model, we define this construct based on the type of activity offered to the student, and the extent to which the student demonstrates cognitive engagement in that activity. The level of depth ranges from 0 to 5, where 0 indicates that the learner has not even viewed the activity. The levels of potential cognitive depth are:

  1. The learner has viewed the activity details
  2. The learner has submitted content to the activity
  3. The learner has viewed feedback from an instructor or peer for the activity
  4. The learner has provided feedback to the instructor or a peer within the activity
  5. The learner has revised and/or resubmitted content to the activity

This model begins by assigning a maximum potential value of cognitive depth to each activity module. For example, the Assignment module allows up to cognitive depth of 4. See below for more details of how these levels are assigned for core activity modules.

Once the potential levels are assigned, each student enroled in a course is evaluated based on the proportion of the potential depth reached. For example, if an activity only supports up to level 3 and the student has reached level 3, the student is participating at 100 percent of the possible level of cognitive depth.

  • Course potential cognitive depth
  • Assignment cognitive
  • Book cognitive
  • Chat cognitive
  • Choice cognitive
  • Database cognitive
  • Feedback cognitive
  • Folder cognitive
  • Forum cognitive
  • Glossary cognitive
  • IMS pkg cognitive
  • Label cognitive
  • Lesson cognitive
  • LTI cognitive
  • Page cognitive
  • Page social
  • Quiz cognitive
  • File cognitive
  • SCORM cognitive
  • Survey cognitive
  • URL cognitive
  • Wiki cognitive
  • Workshop cognitive

Social breadth

Social breadth is a measure of the construct "social presence" within the Community of Inquiry theoretical framework. It is defined as “The ability of participants to identify with the group or course of study, communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop personal and affective relationships progressively by way of projecting their individual personalities” (Garrison, 2009, p 352). In the past, social presence has usually been measured via post-course surveys and manual discourse analysis, though there have been increasing attempts to automate this process. This model implements social presence as "social breadth" by examining the breadth of opportunities the participant has to communicate with others. The level of breadth ranges from 0 to 5, where 0 indicates the learner has not interacted with anyone. The levels of potential social breadth are:

  1. The learner has not interacted with any other participant in this activity (e.g. they have read a page)
  2. The learner has interacted with at least one other participant (e.g. they have submitted an assignment or attempted a self-grading quiz providing feedback)
  3. The learner has interacted with multiple participants in this activity, e.g. posting to a discussion forum, wiki, database, etc.
  4. The learner has interacted with participants in at least one "volley" of communications back and forth
  5. The learner has interacted with people outside the class, e.g. in an authentic community of practice

This model begins by assigning a maximum potential value of social breadth to each activity module. For example, the Assignment module allows up to social breadth of 2. See below for more details of how these levels are assigned for core activity modules.

Once the potential levels are assigned, each student enroled in a course is evaluated based on the proportion of the potential depth reached. For example, if an activity only supports up to level 3 and the student has reached level 3, the student is participating at 100 percent of the possible level of social breadth.

  • Course potential social breadth
  • Assignment social
  • Book social
  • Chat social
  • Choice social
  • Database social
  • Feedback social
  • Folder social
  • Forum social
  • Glossary social
  • IMS pkg social
  • Label social
  • Lesson social
  • LTI social
  • Page social
  • Quiz social
  • File social
  • SCORM social
  • Survey social
  • URL social
  • Wiki social
  • Workshop social

Potential indicator levels for selected activity modules

The potential for engagement via cognitive presence and social presence constitutes instructional design, which is one key element of teaching presence. This diagram shows the potential cognitive depth and social breadth of all core activities and select non-core activities:

coi model indicators.png

By categorizing each activity by potential cognitive depth and social breadth, we can anticipate what level of engagement is supported (and possibly expected) of the learner, even without a history of many learners’ actions in that activity instance. Note that higher levels along each axis include all lower levels, i.e. an activity that involves a student and all peers (social breadth 3) automatically includes levels 1 (student only) and 2 (student +1). In many cases, the specific level can only be determined by analyzing the parameter settings for the activity.