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The Heads of eLearning Forum (HeLF) is a network of senior staff engaged in promoting, supporting and developing technology enhanced learning (TEL). We have 140 nominated Heads from UK higher education institutions and a regular programme of well attended events.

Friday, 1 December 2017

42nd HeLF meeting : Learning Analytics

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The 42nd meeting of the Heads of eLearning Forum was hosted at Southampton Solent University on 31st October 2017.


The morning kicked off inside “The Pod” with Solent’s Laraine D’Antin presenting the progress and challenges of the HEFCE Catalyst A funded RISE project. The project is developing and researching a “Rich Information Set for Educators” and evaluating which elements of learning analytics data has the biggest pedagogical impact for staff and students. This was followed by a group activity, which proved to be a challenge in a room with no tables!
Matt Lingard, Head of TEL at University of West London, then provided an insight into the policies surrounding learning analytics and the issues implementers face trying to balance the requirements for data with the restrictions and challenges of institutional policy. Further discussion followed. In a break from normal proceedings the next presenter, Dragan Gasevic, Professor and the Chair in Learning Analytics and Informatics in the Schools of Education and Informatics University of Edinburgh, joined the event via webinar. Dragan was unable to attend, but kindly gave up his time to present a summary of the SHEILA project and its key findings and actions.

To take us into lunch Professor Julie Hall, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), joined the meeting to welcome delegates to Solent with a short presentation. Julie remained to network over lunch which included a guided tour of the award winning “The Spark” teaching building by Learning Technologist, Edd Bolton.


The afternoon moved to a more traditional teaching room (with tables!) where Samantha Aherne from UCL discussed the mental health crisis in higher education and argued how Learning Analytics could be used to better support student wellbeing.

Brian Irwin, Chair of HeLF, then provided an update of HeLF business which he followed with a summary of findings from a recent HeLF report on the Learning Analytics landscape in UK Higher Education. The slides and report by Barbara Newland and Paul Truemam can be found on the HeLF website. The afternoon was rounded off with Martin Lynch providing an entertaining countdown of lessons learned at University of South Wales during their on-going implementation of Learning Analytics as part of the JISC initiative.

Next HeLF event : Wednesday 28th February 2018 at University of Sheffield on the theme of TEL innovations