Engaging Faculty in Learning Analytics: Agents of Institutional Culture Change


  • George Rehrey Indiana University Bloomington
  • Linda Shepard Indiana University Bloomington
  • Carol Hostetter Indiana University Bloomington
  • Amberly Maurine Reynolds Indiana University Bloomington
  • Dennis Groth Indiana University Bloomington




learning analytics, learning community, student success, agents of change, “big data”


To successfully implement Learning Analytics (LA) systems within higher education, we need to engage administrators, faculty, and staff alike. This paper is by and primarily for practitioners. We suggest implementation strategies that consider the human factor in adopting new technologies by analyzing the viability of our Learning Analytics Fellows Program (LAFP), where faculty are empowered as agents of institutional change. This program directly addresses known barriers to the use of LA, dealing with culture management, adoption, and sustainability. The Fellows program engages faculty in inquiry about student success, providing them with a view of the student experience through institutional data. Faculty, with their knowledge of students and programs as well as their research expertise, are well-positioned to advance LA efforts on our campuses. In our case, faculty are also the end users of their findings, and are able to provide input into the design of the analytical tools created for them. Expanding on a paper presented at the LAK 18 conference (Rehrey, Groth, Fiorini, Hostetter, & Shepard, 2018), we describe the rationale for the implementation strategy, reflect on the effectiveness of this strategy by analyzing self-reports from our LAFP, and consider the broader impacts of this approach for the future.

Author Biographies

George Rehrey, Indiana University Bloomington

George Rehrey is the founding director of Indiana University’s new Center for Learning Analytics and Student Success (CLASS). Prior to this new appointment, he was the director of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program at Indiana University Bloomington for more than a decade.  George serves on the Steering Committee of the Bay View Alliance, an international organization created to transform the teaching and learning culture in STEM departments.


Linda Shepard, Indiana University Bloomington

Linda Shepard is the Senior Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Director of Bloomington Assessment and Research at Indiana University.  She provides leadership for the campus in the development of institutional resources used to inform campus policy, strategic initiatives and program assessment and is a frequent presenter at state and national institutional research meetings.

Carol Hostetter, Indiana University Bloomington

Carol Hostetter is Professor in the School of Social Work at Indiana University.  Dr. Hostetter has been a leader in Indiana University’s teaching academy, as well as in the university’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning program. Notable articles are on social presence in online learning, published in the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Current SOTL grants and publications focus primarily on undergraduate research and social rewards in faculty development. 

Amberly Maurine Reynolds, Indiana University Bloomington

Currently a PhD student in Anatomical Education, Amberly Reynolds is the graduate assistant at the Center for Learning Analytics and Student Success. A clinical anatomist by trade (M.S.), Amberly is interested in educational equity, learning analytics and improving anatomical education at secondary through post-secondary institutions. 

Dennis Groth, Indiana University Bloomington

Dennis Groth is the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Indiana University Bloomington.  His responsibilities include initiatives aimed at enhancing student success, faculty excellence in teaching, and programs in academic advising, such as undergraduate student support and general education assessment. He is also an Associate Professor of Informatics, with a research focus on the development of new database access and data mining techniques in support of data visualization activities, as well as understanding models of exploration in digital environments.


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How to Cite

Rehrey, G., Shepard, L., Hostetter, C., Reynolds, A. M., & Groth, D. (2019). Engaging Faculty in Learning Analytics: Agents of Institutional Culture Change. Journal of Learning Analytics, 6(2), 86–94. https://doi.org/10.18608/jla.2019.62.6



Special Section: Human-Centred Learning Analytics