Teachers as Producers of Data Analytics: A Case Study of a Teacher-Focused Educational Data Science Program

Chase McCoy
Patrick Shih


Educational data science (EDS) is an emerging, interdisciplinary research domain that seeks to improve educational assessment, teaching, and student learning through data analytics. Teachers have been portrayed in the EDS literature as users of pre-constructed data dashboards in educational technologies, with little consideration given to them as active producers of data analytics. This article presents the case study results of an EDS program at a large university in Midwestern U.S.A. in which faculty and instructors were provided with access to institutional data and data analytics technologies in order to explore questions related to their classroom and departmental environments. Semi-structured interviews of program participants were conducted to examine the participants’ experiences as practitioner researchers in EDS. The analysis showed that participants were motivated to participate to improve their learning and educational environments through data analytics, as opposed to developing a research agenda in EDS; that participants experienced a range of barriers related to data literacy; and that participant community support in addition to administrative support are vital to teacher-focused EDS programs. This study adds to a small but growing body of research in EDS and practitioner research that considers teachers as producers and not just consumers of data analytics.


Educational data science; learning analytics; academic analytics; data literacy; practitioner research

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18608/jla.2016.33.10


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