Learning Analytics for the Global South


Over the past two years, DL4D has brought together leading international and regional scholars and practitioners to critically assess the potentials, prospects, challenges, and future directions for the Global South in key areas of interest around digital learning. It commissioned discussion papers for each of these areas from leading experts in the field: Diana Laurillard of the University College London Knowledge Lab, for learning at scale; Chris Dede of Harvard University, for digital game-based learning; Charalambos Vrasidas of the Centre for the Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology, for cost-effective digital learning innovations; and for learning analytics, the subject of this compilation, Dragan Gašević of the University of Edinburgh Moray House School of Education and School of Informatics. Each discussion paper is complemented by responses from a developing country-perspective by regional experts in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Learning Analytics for the Global South considers how the collection, analysis, and use of data about learners and their contexts have the potential to broaden access to quality education and improve the efficiency of educational processes and systems in developing countries around the world. In his discussion paper, Prof. Gašević articulates these potentials and suggests how learning analytics could support critical digital learning and education imperatives such as quality learning at scale and the acquisition of 21st century skills. Experts from Africa (Paul Prinsloo of the University of South Africa), Mainland China (Bodong Chen of the University of Minnesota, USA and Yizhou Fan of Peking University, People’s Republic of China), Southeast Asia (Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo of the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines), and Latin America (Cristóbal Cobo and Cecilia Aguerrebere, both of the Ceibal Foundation, Uruguay) situate Prof. Gašević’s proposals in their respective regional contexts, framing their responses around six key questions:

  • What are the main trends and challenges in education in your region?
  • How can learning analytics address these challenges?
  • What models of learning analytics adoption would be most effective in your region?
  • What are the barriers in adoption of learning analytics in your region and how could these be mitigated?
  • How do you envision ethical use and privacy protection in connection with learning analytics being addressed in your region?
  • How can the operationalization of learning analytics be futureproofed in your region?

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