A new research report, “Connecting Libraries and Learning Analytics for Student Success,” is now available. Written by Megan Oakleaf, Ken Varnum, Jan Fransen, Shane Nackerud, Cary Brown, Bracken Mosbacker, and Steve McCann, the report is a culmination of an IMLS-funded project that brought together a diverse group of library and higher education leaders and experts to:
• develop models for library inclusion in institutional learning analytics,
• explore strategies for bringing the models to fruition,
• design technologies to support library-enabled learning analytics, and
• anticipate ways in which this work will increase library impact on student learning and success.
To support dialogue both among librarians and between librarians and their educational partners, the report includes a series of discussion questions throughout the text and closes with suggested reading lists, including relevant privacy resources. It is hoped that the report will stimulate discussions about the role of libraries in institutional learning analytics, enable the technical capabilities necessary for libraries to contribute to institutional understanding of student learning, and ultimately enable libraries to employ a new approach to supporting student learning and success.
The primary output of the CLLASS project was the development of a library profile for Caliper, an interoperability standard used to label learning data and provide the means for capturing, presenting, and conveying learning activities to centralized data stores in order to facilitate the analysis, visualization, and increased awareness of student learning behaviors. Caliper standardizes learning data, enabling data from disparate systems to be ingested and combined to allow educators and researchers to expand their understanding of student experiences and improve, design, or redesign student support for achievement of learning outcomes.
The Caliper standard includes a number of metric profiles that model learning activities; each profile provides a domain-specific set of terms and concepts that describe student interactions using a shared format and vocabulary. The Caliper library profile is available in draft form online.
Overall, the CLLASS project made significant strides in the technical ability of libraries to contribute data to institutional learning analytics efforts while ensuring that individual libraries can control the collection and use of library data in alignment with their values, ethics, and standards, as well as library and institutional policies and practices.