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Welcome to the Scottish Tertiary Education Learning Analytics Resource (STELAR). This resource has been developed to share and promote the learning analytics practice in Scottish institutions across the sector, and to facilitate cross-institutional collaboration as institutions adopt learning analytics.

This resource is developed as part of QAA Scotland’s Enhancement Theme 2018-2021; Evidence for Enhancement: Improving the Student Experience. QAA Scotland is a devolved faction of The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education which has responsibility for the delivery of QAA engagements in Scotland. Notably, QAA Scotland is focused on improving practice and learning throughout the Scottish Higher Education sector, thus upholding quality and standards while promoting change and development. QAA Scotland has an emphasis on enhancement-led work. QAA Scotland’s projects are undertaken in collaboration with students, in order to achieve the most appropriate and optimal outcomes for students. Through their Enhancement Themes (longitudinal programs which permit the specific examination of an area within the higher education sector), QAA Scotland aim to target specific themes in order to promote innovation and progress, in order to ultimately improve the student learning experience.

As part of the Enhancement Themes, QAA Scotland fund Collaborative Clusters. Collaborative Clusters provide institutions with the opportunity to work together on areas of shared interests which have the potential of adding value for the whole sector once complete. As part of the Learning Analytics – Policy & Practice Collaborative Cluster, in Year 1 of the Theme, two students based at the University of Stirling, Claire Lough and Victoria Szymanska, conducted interviews with all 19 Higher Education Institutions in Scotland. This resulted in the report, Investigating the Use and Implementation of Learning Analytics across the Scottish Higher Education Sector.  The compiling of this resource is a priority for Year 2 of the Theme, and has been developed by two students based at the University of Strathclyde, Rhiann Fowlds and Julie Regamey.

With the digitalisation of our society, there has been an explosion in the amount of available data from all sources. Consequently, there has been an increased interest in using data analysis to understand student behaviour and to use this data to improve various academic outcomes. Although no single definition of learning analytics is unanimously accepted, there is somewhat of a consensus over the core elements.

  • Learning analytics is the collection and analysis of data about students and their learning environments.
  • The objectives of learning analytics are to understand student behaviour in the learning context, to improve the means of learning and to overall enhance student experience and well-being.

Therefore, learning analytics is the analysis of student data in order to improve learning experience. There are many advantages that learning analytics can bring higher education institutions, such as improving retention, attendance, progression, assignment submission rates, performance, engagement, supporting struggling students and improving student satisfaction.


Siemens, G. & Long, P. (2011). Penetrating the Fog: Analytics in Learning and Education. Educause Review, 46 (5), 31-40.

Viberg, O., Hatakka, M., Bälter, O. & Mavroudi, A. (2018). The current Landscape of learning Analytics in higher education. Computers in Human Behavior. 89, 98-110.

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