Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ Learning analytics and the three-body problem

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Colin Beer argues - correctly - that "techno-centric approaches to learning analytics, where the focus of attention is on historical data, are fundamentally flawed. I'm not sure we truly understand this yet as a sector." The reason for this is neatly illustrated by the three-body problem. "If we have a class with only three students, we cannot begin to perceive or quantify the variables that will contribute to their success or otherwise." Students and learning are complex, which means that our predictive capacities are limited, which is why it is (in my opinion) better to base learning design on affordances rather than prescriptions.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: May 19, 2024 7:39 p.m.

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