New Learning Analytics master’s program empowers people to use ‘big data’ to improve education outcomes


MADISON—A brand new on-line MS in Educational Psychology, Learning Analytics possibility, supplied via the famend UW–Madison Department of Educational Psychology, will assist graduates improve instructing, studying and academic coverage by harnessing the ability of ‘big data’ to deal with a broad vary of challenges.

Graduates of the program will probably be outfitted to assist improve particular person pupil studying, elevate commencement charges and handle fairness gaps for college kids underrepresented based mostly on race, poverty and gender.

“The Master’s in Learning Analytics speaks to the UW–Madison School of Education’s commitment to improving learning outcomes, especially in underserved populations,” says Julia Rutledge, the program’s director. “Learning analytics is a powerful tool in bridging achievement gaps, and we look forward to giving educators the tools they need to solve the most pressing challenges in education today.”

Program Director Julia Rutledge on a video name

Learning analytics is a part of the quickly rising subject of information science, utilizing statistical, computational and ethnographic instruments to perceive and improve studying.

“We want to train people to use numbers in a way that’s sensitive to the real-world issues of teaching and learning, to questions of equity and meaning,” says David Williamson Shaffer, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor within the Department of Educational Psychology and the school director of the brand new program. “Fundamentally, we’re not just creating number-crunchers. We’re teaching educators how to use powerful new tools to make a meaningful difference in students’ lives.”

The Learning Analytics program provides to UW–Madison’s rising portfolio of information science diploma packages. The studying analytics business is projected to develop greater than 10 p.c yearly, and job postings for skilled analysts elevated 170 p.c in 2018 alone. UW–Madison college in studying analytics comprise practitioners and main researchers within the subject, and their programs deal with the talents and understanding college students want to put together for careers on this fast-growing subject.

“There is a match between our faculty’s expertise and market need,” Rutledge says, “and the program’s interactive curriculum will enable our graduates to make an impact.”

The program is 100 p.c on-line and follows a cohort-based mannequin, serving to college students construct a powerful and supportive studying neighborhood, hone their abilities, and study from one another’s experiences. Students are inspired to apply from a wide range of skilled backgrounds, and the program is tailor-made to handle college students with numerous pursuits by giving college students the chance to have interaction with knowledge units personally and professionally significant to them. Cohorts start in summer time and canopy 30 credit, permitting college students to full the whole master’s program in simply 24 months.

“Learning analytics is a rapidly expanding area of inquiry in which new types of data science questions are emerging,” says Brian Yandell, director of UW–Madison’s American Family Insurance Data Science Institute. “What can we learn from these new data streams, which go far beyond keyboard clicks, about how students learn new concepts and skills? No doubt focusing a degree program in this area will spark new types of inherently interdisciplinary data science research.”

Program coursework offers coaching within the foundations of accumulating, organizing, deciphering and speaking knowledge in and about studying environments. The curriculum blends analysis and idea in studying analytics with sensible purposes, together with educational design, knowledge visualization and knowledge communication. Students apply their abilities in a real-world setting of their alternative in a last capstone course, rounding out a portfolio of labor on actual instructional knowledge that demonstrates their profession readiness.

“Numbers are powerful, and if you have them on your side, you speak with a louder voice,” says Shaffer. “The people doing analytics will have a growing influence on policy and practice over time. This program gives the best of both worlds: Cutting edge understanding about learning analytics, designed for people who use these ideas to make education better.”

Applications at the moment are open for the primary cohort that begins the summer time of 2021. To study extra in regards to the program go to the studying analytics program web page, electronic mail the program’s enrollment coach, Pat Walsh, at or join a Learning Analytics MS program overview webinar.


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