ACRL Presents: Libraries and Learning Analytics

Join ACRL for the free ACRL Presents webcast “Libraries and Learning Analytics: The Future is Now” from 12:30PM – 2:00PM Central on Thursday, November 17, 2022.

Learning analytics offers a new tool in the library assessment toolbox, one that closes gaps left by other assessment methods but requires different ways of framing assessment questions, innovative strategies for using or connecting data, and strengthening collaborations with campus partners.

This workshop is a continuation of the November 2021 ACRL ULS webinar, “Libraries and Learning Analytics: Facts, False Choices, and Future Forays” (see presentation slides and watch the recording, 65 mins.), and is designed to help librarians take the next step in learning analytics preparedness by guiding them through a series of activities designed to support them in thinking through decisions, data, and conversations necessary for ethical, effective, and engaging learning analytics work at their institutions. Attendees are requested to watch the recording of the earlier session as this content is foundational to this ACRL Presents event.

This free presentation is sponsored by the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Committee.

This highly interactive workshop will open by reviewing the next steps identified in the previous presentation and then delve into concrete hands-on activities designed to help librarians prepare to initiate those first steps in collaboration with library and institutional colleagues and students.

  1. Presenters and participants will consider questions and problems that may merit a learning analytics approach across a variety of institution types.
  2. Presenters will lead a guided activity in which participants apply a user story format to explicitly articulate potential stakeholders, goals, and anticipated outcomes.
  3. Participants will brainstorm potential data sources, including those that may not traditionally be considered, to address these user stories.
  4. Presenters and participants will discuss how their anticipated user stories and data identification efforts can lead to maximum positive impact of learning analytics work and anticipate ways in which normalizing these processes will expedite future solutions.
  5. Participants will identify potential new collaborations with campus partners and students to fill data gaps and ensure that results are accurate and actionable.

To wrap up, presenters will facilitate a conversation about the broader future of learning analytics in libraries, including ways to overcome technical challenges and conduct initial pilot testing of this approach.

Participants will leave this workshop with a solid foundation or action plan for taking the next steps at their institutions and a list of discussion questions and readings for continuing the conversation at their individual institutions.


  • Megan Oakleaf is a Professor at Syracuse University’s iSchool. She is the PI of two IMLS grants on libraries and learning analytics, Library Integration in Institutional Learning Analytics and Connecting Libraries and Learning Analytics for Student Success.
  • Ken Varnum is a Senior Program Manager and Discovery Strategist in Library Information Technology at the University of Michigan. He was the Technical Lead for the IMLS-funded Library Learning Analytics Project and works with the library’s analytics data retention and access processes.
  • Rebecca Croxton, Head of Strategic Analytics and Special Projects at UNC Charlotte’s library, is the PI for a campus wide student success initiative focused on quantifying the role of student engagement with the library and other co-curricular and extracurricular activities.