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Edited by Anna Greathead, Thursday, 11 July 2019, 12:07

Table about Google Analytics

I know that we use Google Analytics at work but not for Elearning. I have never been involved in the discussions about Google Analytics nor have I seen the data. However - as a data junkie I now carry a strong urge to demand access to all the data sets because I can see how interesting this could be.

With regard to applying Google Analytics to learning I am initially struck by how this model is clearly designed with commercial applications in mind. The services which might be of benefit to a learner or an educator are only useful insomuch as they may enable better, more targeted and more appropriate, learning opportunities to be developed.

Google Analytics is, I believe, a commercial enterprise. As with all such enterprises - the principle aim is profit and other gains are incidental. Gains associated with learning are, therefore, mainly for the aspect of learning which is most associated with profit - the institution.

However - this data *could* be used to help the learner and the educator, The issues with using it that was are not only due to a profit motive of a private company but the way that big data may have to become much more specific to be useful in individual circumstances. I would, for example, be very interested to see how well I am doing in H817 compared to other students on the course, compared to students in previous cohorts. I'd be fascinated to know what expectations the OU may have had for me based on my simple socio-demographic information. I would like to see where I rank in terms of engagement with the material and I would be interested to learn of any aspects of H817 I had simply failed to grasp properly. I would love it if the curriculum I followed in H817 would shift and sway according to my interests, the pace I was most comfortable with and even my personal schedule. If I were to know all of this though it may be at the expense of the privacy of other students, it may be at the expense of the integrity of the course and it may be at the expense of my own work ethic!

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