Learning Analytics Dimensions: Learner Analysis

Welcome to our fourth installment exploring results from our Learning Analytics Research Study and what they mean in practice. This week, we’re diving into the dimensions under the learner categories. (We’ll pick up the learning program and learning experience categories in our next posts.)

What Is Learner Analytics?

Learner analytics looks at learning data from the perspective of what people are doing and how they perform. We identified five dimensions under this category:

  1. Person: comparing individual learners
  2. Group: comparing different groups of people (e.g., different parts of an organization)
  3. Location: comparing based on people’s locations, either at the point where the learning happened or their usual work/office locations (see the following image)
  4. Instructor: comparing different instructors, especially for instructor-led training (ILT) (e.g., learner ratings from surveys)
  5. Behavior: comparing groups based on their behaviors (e.g., comparing sales figures of people who completed a course against those who did not complete one)

For example, this report shows logins by location over time:

Views by Learner Dimension

When we looked at the number of reports and report views for these dimensions, we found that most reports in the learner dimension are organized by person (72% view share), with a few organized by group or location (13% each). (See the following pie chart.)

Based on our research, one reason why reports organized by person are popular is that they allow direct-line managers to see how specific groups of learners performed on various eLearning courses and assessments.

And reports targeted at these managers are more likely to get a higher number of views than those designed for L&D or senior managers simply because there are usually more line managers looking at these reports.

Interestingly, even though location and group have similar view shares, according to the following bar chart, only 39 reports are organized by location, compared to 355 reports organized by group.

This finding suggests that perhaps report creators may be underutilizing results that compare locations. Moreover, suppose these results were made available. In that case, they might be popular amongst report viewers—as these reports can help viewers identify how well learners in specific locations perform or how active learners are by location.

Actionable Insights

Here are two actions you can take away from this learning analytics blog post:

  1. Encourage line managers to stay engaged by providing less-generalized, more-targeted reports about their respective team members.
  2. Consider using reports comparing people in different locations. These reports may get more traffic than you think.

Up Next: The Learning Program Category

Next time, we’ll explore the different dimensions within the learning program category. We’ve identified learning programs as the most popular reported-on category, so make sure not to miss this one. Sign up for Watershed Insights now!

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5 Ways Learning Analytics Can Transform Your Business

Learning analytics has a reputation for being complex and challenging. But what if you ignore the technicalities and look at the stories that data can tell? In this talk, we look at five ways global enterprises used their learning analytics platform to improve, adapt and transform areas of their business in very different circumstances.

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