There are several key factors of courses that we believe will weigh into making good predictions using learning analytics that are not currently stored in Moodle. In our initial data collection initiative, this data was gathered via a Feedback activity in the Project Inspire course on moodle.org. This is a summary. Please let me know if each field needs to be a separate issue.
Mode of instruction: This should be be a percentage, e.g. “what percentage of course activity occurs online in Moodle vs. offline, e.g. in face to face settings or individual study?”
Expected hours to complete: This is a way to compare courses at a college that are worth different credit hours, or certification courses that need to be a certain length. It is an approximate measure of the difficulty of the course (when combined with course level). For example, a one-semester college course worth 3 "credit hours" might consist of 48h "direct instruction" + 96h "homework" or self-study, for a total of 144h. A "full year" in a primary school might consist of 180 days of instruction, effectively 4 hours per day (excluding lunch, non-academic activities, etc.), for a total of 720 hours of instruction. A likely maximum value would be 365 days x 8 hours/day for a total of 2920 hours. As with other analytics indicators, this will need to be converted to a proportion. One way to handle this field plus "mode of instruction" would be a combined widget with the following parameters:
- Number of hours of online activity
- Number of hours of offline instruction (classroom, group meetings, etc.)
- Number of hours of self study/homework
- Per [Day | Week ]
- For n [(1-365)|(1-52)] [Days | Weeks]
This would probably be the easiest way for most teachers to calculate the number of hours.
Course level: For analytics purposes, this needs to be able to be converted to a proportion. Course level might be represented as something like “expected previous years of study completed out of a maximum of 20.” A course intended for a workplace would use the anticipated level of education of employees in that workplace, e.g. if only secondary education ("high school" in the US) is required, the course would be level 12/20. A course with no prerequisites whatsoever could conceivably have 0/20, but the student would probably not be accessing such a course directly, as reading facility would be 3/20 or 4/20. (Such a course could be only for a gradebook, or to allow parent visibility to student progress.)