Book Review: Learning Analytics Explained by Niall Sclater

Cassandra Colvin


Sclater’s book Learning Analytics Explained is not unique in its goal to present a practitioner audience with a synopsis of the “what and how” of learning analytics. Throughout LA’s brief history, studies and guides have been produced recommending models and approaches for learning analytics “deployment,” as well as other short commentaries providing an overview of what exactly learning analytics is. These resources have been intended to increase awareness of the field across research and practice, and to facilitate sustainable uptake. Yet, and in spite of the high profile of these guides, the learning analytics community still finds itself lamenting a perceived low uptake of learning analytics within the higher education sector. Sclater, himself a prominent scholar and consultant in the field of learning analytics implementations, is mindful of this present juncture in learning analytics. His observations of the education sector’s rapidly growing interest in learning analytics, alongside a concomitant lack of understanding of what learning analytics actually is and could be, acted as motivations for him to write what he hopes is “a readable and informative summary of the area.”

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