Connecting Learning Analytics and Problem-Based Learning – Potentials and Challenges
Learning analytics (LA) are a young but fast-growing field, which, according to some authors, holds big promises for education. Some claim that LA solutions can help measure and support constructivist classrooms and 21st century skills, thus creating a potential of making an alignment between LA and PBL principles and practices. Despite this argument, LA have not yet gained much interest among the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) practitioners and researchers and the possible connections between PBL and LA have not yet been properly explored. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to investigate how LA can potentially be used to support and inform PBL practice. We do this by identifying central themes that remain constant across various orchestrations of PBL (collaboration, self-directed learning, and reflection) and present examples of LA tools and concepts that have been developed within LA and neighbouring fields (e.g. CSCL) in connection to those themes. This selection of LA solutions is later used as a basis for discussing wider potentials, challenges and recommendations for making connections between PBL and LA.
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