Evidence of the Month: Time will tell

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Each month, we highlight one of the new additions to the LACE Evidence Hub, which brings together evidence about learning analytics. You are welcome to add to the Hub site, which you can visit via a tab at the top of this page.

The evidence of the month for December 2015 is a study from the Netherlands examining a tool to encourage learners to better manage their learning. This is an interesting contrast to other studies that concentrate more directly on learning. One of their clearest findings was that learners tended to use the time tracking tool shortly after being prompted by SMS notifications, which is very much in line with previous results, and should generalise to other contexts. Their numbers are small – most of the conclusions are based on data from 13 learners – and there was no control group. However, their results do appear to suggest that self-regulated learning and time management may have improved slightly as the tools were used. Promisingly, the authors plan to release the framework as open source tools for others to use.

The original abstract:

This longitudinal study explores the effects of tracking and monitoring time devoted to learn with a mobile tool, on self-regulated learning. Graduate students (n = 36) from three different online courses used their own mobile devices to track how much time they devoted to learn over a period of four months. Repeated measures of the Online Self-Regulated Learning Questionnaire and Validity and Reliability of Time Management Questionnaire were taken along the course. Our findings reveal positive effects of tracking time on time management skills. Variations in the channel, content and timing of the mobile notifications to foster reflective practice are investigated, and time-logging patterns are described. These results not only provide evidence of the benefits of recording learning time, but also suggest relevant cues on how mobile notifications should be designed and prompted towards self-regulated learning of students in online courses.

Citation: Tabuenca, B., Kalz, M., Drachsler, H., & Specht, M. (2015). Time will tell: The role of mobile learning analytics in self-regulated learning. Computers & Education, 89, 53–74.

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About Author

Academic in to new technology in teaching, particularly learning analytics, at the Open University in the UK.

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