The abundance of data and the rise of new quantitative and
statistical techniques have created a promising area: data
analytics. This combination of a culture of data-driven decision
making and techniques to include domain knowledge allows
organizations to exploit big data analytics in their evaluation and
decision processes. Also, in education and learning, big data
analytics is being used to enhance the learning process, to
evaluate efficiency, to improve feedback, and to enrich the
learning experience. As every step a student takes in the online
world can be traced, analyzed, and used, there are plenty of
opportunities to improve the learning process of students. First,
data analytics techniques can be used to enhance the student' s
learning process by providing real-time feedback, or by enriching
the learning experience. Second, data analytics can be used to
support the instructor or teacher. Using data analytics, the
instructor can better trace, and take targeted actions to improve,
the learning process of the student. Third, there are possibilities
in using data analytics to measure the performance of instructors.
Finally, for policy makers, it is often unclear how schools use
their available resources to "produce" outcomes. By combining
structured and unstructured data from various sources, data
analytics might provide a solution for governments that aim to
monitor the performance of schools more closely. Data analytics in
education should not be the domain of a single discipline.
Economists should discuss the possibilities, issues, and normative
questions with a multidisciplinary team of pedagogists,
philosophers, computer scientists, and sociologists. By bringing
together various disciplines, a more comprehensive answer can be
formulated to the challenges ahead. This book starts this
discussion by highlighting some economic perspectives on the use of
data analytics in education. The book begins a rich,
multidisciplinary discussion that may make data analytics in
education seem as natural as a teacher in front of a classroom.
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