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3 ways to use data and processes to improve learning design

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You’ve probably heard of data mining and how analyzing your learning data can make you a better learning professional. I’m sure you used Kirkpatrick’s level of evaluation, Phillips’ ROI or similar learning assessment methods. Evaluation is an important part of an effective learning and development (L&D) program – there are no arguments here.

However, even the best assessment methods have a significant drawback: you often measure the effect of learning after completing the program. You can use mid-course surveys or quick surveys throughout the course, or you can observe participants in the simulation to measure the impact of learning on behavior change.

What else can give you real-time feedback on how your participants are taking training courses?

Goldmine event logs

If you use online learning platforms such as a Learning Management System (LMS)you have a golden source of information from event logs LMS collects. Event logs are used for security purposes, but the same data can also provide valuable information about user behavior.

How do you analyze event log data? Through the mining process.

How process mining works

The formats of LMS event logs vary, but the information they collect is largely the same. By looking at when students gain access to a course, which parts of the course they gain access to, how long they work with activities and when they leave the course, you can see their paths through the course. Using software for mining processes, you can create a picture of how multiple students interact with the course.

According to studies by Alejandro Bagarin, Rebecca Seras and Cristobal Romeroeducation professionals used the mining learning process to:

1. Identify problems with course design and flow

Perhaps the mining process diagrams show bottlenecks in the flow of the course, or there the rate of passage of one estimate is much lower than the rates for other estimates. You can use your mining process charts to identify difficulties in progress and fix problems in real time.

2. Map how students interact with each other

When analyzing course event logs you can see the days and times when most students interact on discussion boards. Event logs can also show which students are discussion leaders, counting how many responses they receive. This data can be useful in developing collaborative assignments by balancing group dynamics.

3. Topics and assignments of test courses

Measuring how long students complete a task can help you adjust the level of difficulty of the task. For example, I changed the duration of a video course depending on how much time my students spent watching them. I used to record videos lasting 20 to 30 minutes, but found that students only watched the first five to six minutes. Based on this analysis, I created more videos, but limited their duration to six minutes or less. I have described the same concepts, but in a shorter, more accessible format.

The power of the mining process

There are many ways to learn technological mining. A quick search on YouTube opens up a lot of tutorials for mining processes, and there are several software platforms for mining processes with a free plan for beginners. It is also easy to extract event logs from many LMS.

Data mining has given L&D professionals a significant insight into the value of learning for participants and organizations. Process mining takes data mining one step further, giving more ways to improve learning.

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