Engaging Faculty in Learning Analytics: Agents of Institutional Culture Change

George Rehrey
Linda Shepard
Carol Hostetter
Amberly Maurine Reynolds
Dennis Groth


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.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18608/jla.2019.62.6

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