This is a page of resources we were examining for learning analytics in the Distance Education dept. at College of the Redwoods.We were particularly interested in research around open source analytics tools. This is not a detailed review of all of the work that was going on in learning analytics then but was enough to help us get started.


I wrote a general article on learning analytics for the Eureka Times-Standard called “Tapping the Power of Analytics.” George Siemens has been writing and researching on learning analytics and I found his “What are Learning Analytics?” posting useful in talking to faculty about it. Campbell and Oblinger wrote a great introduction called “Academic Analytics” for Educause. Educause also has a “7 Things You Should Know About Analytics” article.


Arnold, Kimberly. (2010) “Signals: Applying Academic Analytics.” EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 33(1).

van Barneveld, Angela, Arnold, Kimberly E. and Campbell, John P. (2012) “Analytics in Higher Education: Establishing a Common Language.” Educause. ELI Paper 1: January.

Baepler, Paul and Murdoch, Cynthia James. (2010) “Academic Analytics and Data Mining in Higher Education.” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 4(2).

Brown, Malcolm. (2011), “Learning Analytics: The Coming Third Wave,” EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Brief.

Campbell, John P. (2007) “The Grand Challenge: Using Analytics to Predict Student Success.” presentation at the 2007 EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference,

Campbell, John P., DeBlois, Peter B., and Oblinger, Diana G. (2007)”Academic Analytics: a New Tool for a New Era.” EDUCAUSE Review (p. 40).

Elias, Tanya. (2011) “Learning Analytics: Definitions, Processes and Potential.”

Ferguson, R. (2012). The State Of Learning Analytics in 2012: A Review and
Future Challenges. Technical Report KMI-12-01, Knowledge Media Institute, The
Open University, UK.

Franks, Bill. (2011) “The Dire Consequences of Analytics Gone Wrong: Ruining Kids’ Futures.” The Smart Data Collective.

Fritz, John. (2009) “Using Course Activity Data to Raise Awareness of Underperforming College Students,” paper presented at the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2009, Vancouver, BC,

Goldstein, Philip J. and Katz, Richard N. (2005) “Academic Analytics: The Use of Management Information and Technology in Higher Education—Key Findings.” Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE. Center for Applied Research.

Head, Simon. (2010). “The Grim Threat to British Universities.” New York Review of Books, December 16, 2010, <>.

Norris, Donald, Baer, Linda and Offerman, Michael (2009) “A National Agenda for Action Analytics,” National Symposium on Action Analytics, St. Paul, MN, September, 2009,

Ravishanker, Ganesan (2011) “Doing Academic Analytics Right: Intelligent Answers to Simple Questions,” (Research Bulletin 2, 2011), Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research.

Siemens, George and Long, Phil. (2011) “Penetrating the Fog: Analytics in Learning and Education.” EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 46, no. 5 (September/October 2011)


College of the Redwoods was previously a partner with the Open Academic Analytics Initiative (OAAI). The Open Academic Analytics Initiative (OAAI) was to develop, deploy and release an open-source ecosystem for academic analytics designed to increase student content mastery, semester-to-semester persistence and degree completion in postsecondary education.  As a result, we expected to see increases in adoption of academic analytics, particularly among institutions using the open-source Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment, in both the short- and long-term.


Open Data Kit – Three modular tools which help organizations author, field, and manage mobile data collection solutions.

Open Web Analytics – This is software that can be used in place of Google Analytics or other possibly non-secure, commercial analytics packages. This is a self-hosted solution.

Open Data Kit – Three modular tools which help organizations author, field, and manage mobile data collection solutions.

Orange – Orange stands for “Open source data visualization and analysis for novice and experts.” This tool uses data mining through visual programming or Python scripting. It has components for machine learning and add-ons for bioinformatics and text mining. “Packed with features for data analytics.”

Pentaho – Pentaho Community Suite is the open source version of Pentaho includes a suite of analytics tools. “The Pentaho open source community is an extraordinary group of people with many different talents who are dedicated to delivering a complete, well integrated, and high quality suite of business intelligence software” There are a a few learning analytics projects that are using Pentaho.

Piwik – According to their site, Piwik is a free alternative to Google Analytics and is used on more than 320,000 websites: “Piwik is a PHP MySQL software program that you download and install on your own webserver. At the end of the five minute installation process you will be given a JavaScript code. Simply copy and paste this tag on websites you wish to track (or use an existing plugin to do it automatically for you) and access your analytics reports in real time.”

SNAPP –  This is a open source learning analytics tool from the University of Wollongong. SNAPP is “a software tool that allows users to visualize the network of interactions resulting from discussion forum posts and replies. The network visualisations of forum interactions provide an opportunity for teachers to rapidly identify patterns of user behaviour – at any stage of course progression.”

SwiftRiver –  “SwiftRiver enables the filtering and verification of real-time data from channels like Twitter, SMS, Email and RSS feeds.” This is from Ushahidi “a non-profit tech company that specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping.

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