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Analytics in Higher Education: Establishing a Common Language

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


The use of analytics in higher education is a relatively new area of practice and research. As with any new area of practice, a variety of terms are adopted to describe concepts and processes. Each of these terms is being integrated into the literature, but a preliminary review of the analytics in education and practitioner literature revealed similar terms with different conceptual or functional definitions, as well as different terms with similar conceptual or functional definitions. The intent of this paper is to present the different descriptions of the various types of analytics being discussed in the academic and practitioner literature. Second, we propose a conceptual framework that depicts the types of analytics and their relationship to each other. Finally, we propose a synthesized set of definitions for analytics-related terms commonly found in academia.

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