How do we start? an approach to learning analytics adoption in higher education

Dragan Gasevic, Yi-Shan Tsai, Shane Dawson, Abelardo Pardo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The analysis of data collected from user interactions with educational and information technology has attracted much attention as a promising approach to advancing our understanding of the learning process. This promise motivated the emergence of the field of learning analytics and supported the education sector in moving toward data-informed strategic decision making. Yet, progress to date in embedding such data-informed processes has been limited. The purpose of this paper is to address a commonly posed question asked by educators, managers, administrators and researchers seeking to implement learning analytics – how do we start institutional adoption of learning analytics?
Design/methodology/approach: A narrative review is performed to synthesize the existing literature on learning analytics adoption in higher education. The synthesis is based on the established models for the adoption of business analytics and finding two projects performed in Australia and Europe to develop and evaluate approaches to adoption of learning analytics in higher education.
Findings: The paper first defines learning analytics and touches on lessons learned from some well-known case studies. The paper then reviews the current state of institutional adoption of learning analytics by examining evidence produced in several studies conducted worldwide. The paper next outlines an approach to learning analytics adoption that could aid system-wide institutional transformation. The approach also highlights critical challenges that require close attention in order for learning analytics to make a long-term impact on research and practice of learning and teaching.
Originality/value: The paper proposed approach that can be used by senior leaders, practitioners and researchers interested in adoption of learning analytics in higher education. The proposed approach highlights the importance of the socio-technical nature of learning analytics and complexities pertinent to innovation adoption in higher education institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-353
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Information and Learning Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2019


  • Higher education
  • Learning analytics
  • Technological innovation
  • Technology led strategy

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