What a treat to be able to exchange information and ideas related to…data! Others we met are engaged in similar efforts. Most notably, a team is working on CANSAWARE to track, mine, and present data from Sakai.

The clickstream is one <easy> way to implement an imperfect method of assessment that aligns with the technology used — but it seems that the true power comes from:

  1. the meaning individuals (faculty) or groups (faculty, students, and support staff) attribute to the data and the action that results, and
  2. the ability to display trends in behavior over time

It seems that we are on a useful path but would be wise to clearly articulate what data is tracked, why, and how it is used. Data to help students reflect on their learning (metacognition) is one of the best immediate uses of the data.

In the end, it’s about trust—-just like any instructor/student interaction.

We need to conduct experimental research in Fall 2008 classes and try to identify and publish results and best practices associated with this methodology — as pertains to education. Bring on the IRB (institutional review board) paperwork…

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