Incorporating learning analytics to promote reflective practice in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL): A case study.
This scholarship article explores the intersection of scholarship of teaching and learning sotl and reflective practice in higher education. It considers the integration of learning analytics as a tool to reflect on data-driven action, emphasizing the importance of fostering social presence in online and blended courses. This study presents a case study involving a blended course designed for Japanese university students and discusses the implications of the learning analytics data collected.
The scholarship of teaching and learning sotl has gained prominence in higher education as a framework for the systematic investigation of teaching and learning practices. Encourages teachers to critically evaluate their teaching practices, reflect on the effectiveness of teaching strategies, and seek evidence-based improvements. This article explores how SoTL can be improved by incorporating learning analytics, focusing on data-driven reflection on action.
SoTL is an approach that encourages teachers to view their teaching as an educational endeavor. This includes researching teaching practices, gathering evidence, and disseminating findings to improve teaching and enhance student learning. Historically, SoTL has evolved in response to the need for teachers to engage in reflective practice and evaluate the impact of their teaching practices.
Two essential aspects of reflective practice are reflection on action and reflection in action. Process reflection occurs after a teaching session, where teachers analyze their teaching methods and student outcomes. Reflection in action, on the other hand, occurs in real time during instruction, allowing teachers to make quick adjustments based on classroom dynamics and student responses.
This study presents a case involving the design, development, and implementation of a blended course designed for Japanese university students. The course aimed to integrate SoTL principles with learning analytics to promote reflective practice. Learning analytics data, in the form of course reports generated by the learning management system, were used to investigate student participation in discussion forums as an indicator of social presence within the course ANSD scholarship undergraduate students.
Learning analytics involves collecting and analyzing data on student learning behaviors and outcomes. In this case, the focus was on student participation in online discussions. Social presence, an important factor in online learning environments, refers to the degree to which students feel connected to teachers and peers. This can significantly affect the effectiveness of online instruction.
Analysis of learning analytics data revealed that despite the course’s large class size, students showed limited enthusiasm for online communication. The number of posts in the discussion forums was significantly lower, indicating a lack of active engagement with instructors, teaching assistants (TAs), and peers.
Recognizing the importance of social presence in online and blended courses, several suggestions are made for improving it in the current course and similar fully online/blended courses:
Interactive strategies: Add more interactive elements to online discussion forums to encourage active participation, such as structured discussions, peer reviews, and collaborative assignments.
Clear expectations: Establish clear expectations for student participation in online discussions, emphasizing the importance of active interaction with teachers and peers as an integral part of the learning experience.
Timely Feedback: Provide timely and constructive feedback on students’ online contributions to reinforce the value of their participation and guide improvement.
Community Building: Foster a sense of community in the online environment through icebreakers, presentations, and opportunities for students to get to know each other.
This scholarship of teaching and learning sotl article underscores the potential of integrating learning analytics into the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) framework.