Completing the Loop

Returning meaningful learning analytic data to teachers


The great diversity of the student body in Australian universities is reflected in students' ages, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, motivations and experiences with technology. University teachers are also increasingly reliant on – and expected to use – a range of technologies to support student learning both on and off campus. In designing and delivering online learning activities to meet diverse student needs, teachers commonly face educational challenges. This project will identify common problems faced by teachers and students when learning online, and determine the types of learning analytics teachers would find useful to effectively address these problems.

The project involves three phases:

  • Phase 1: The first phase of the project will explore teachers' views on how learning analytics could help them address known difficulties or problems with teaching and learning online.
  • Phase 2: In this phase a web-based analytics tool will be developed that will support teachers to more easily interpret learning analytics to help them improve teaching and learning practices.
  • Phase 3: Once developed, the web-based analytics tool will be trialled in four subjects across the University Melbourne, Macquarie University and the University of South Australia.

Through an active dissemination program, this project will help to realise the full potential of learning analytics, by providing university teachers with a better understanding of how analytics can be interpreted, applied and actioned.


This project aims to develop a better understanding of learning analytics and the ways in which analytics can be interpreted, applied and actioned by teachers to improve teaching and learning practices.

Project date



Support for this project was provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views in this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government.


The project brings together researchers from three universities.

University of Melbourne

  • Professor Gregor Kennedy

    Professor Gregor Kennedy is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Educational Innovation) at The University of Melbourne and a Professor in Higher Education in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education. His current work involves leading the University's strategy in technology-enhanced learning and teaching, supporting staff in the use of learning technologies, and undertaking research in the area of eLearning. He has a background in psychology and has spent over 15 years conducting and overseeing research and development in educational technology in higher education. He has been involved in a number of ALTC/OLT grants and led the highly successful ALTC-funded project Educating the Net Generation. His research interests include staff and students’ use of technology, contemporary learning design and emerging technologies, computer-based interactivity and engagement, and the use of electronic measures for educational research and evaluation. He has published widely in these areas and is currently the co-editor of the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology.

  • Dr Linda Corrin

    Dr Linda Corrin is a Lecturer in Higher Education in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne. She has been involved in educational technology-related research, curriculum development and academic development for the past 9 years. Linda’s research interests include examining students’ engagement with technology in everyday and academic contexts, learning analytics, student feedback, and learning design. She is in the final stages of completing her PhD which examines students’ learning through their use of technologies.

  • Professor David Williams

    Professor David Williams is a Professor in the Department of Physiology and Program Director for the Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne. He has been a leader in the use of Personal Response Systems ('clickers') and the 'flipped classroom' university undergraduate teaching since 2006. This development has spawned the use of clickers in post-graduate courses such as the Doctor of Medicine program and he regularly supports academics interested in employing the underlying 'active learning' pedagogy. Exploring the significant learning analytics capacity of this mode of feedback is a primary research interest. His other research interests include the use of social media to enhance student learning and to identify students 'at risk' and in need of early intervention.

  • Professor Raoul Mulder

    Professor Raoul Mulder is a Professor and Reader in the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne. He has a long-standing interest in educational technology and is lead investigator on a current OLT grant which aims to promote student peer review in higher education. He has pioneered the development of the peer review software tool PRAZE and authored several publications on formative assessment, including a guide for academics. His teaching contributions have been recognised through two national teaching awards; a Carrick Award for Australian University Teaching and an ALTC award for Programs that Enhance Learning.

Macquarie University

  • Professor Lori Lockyer

    Professor Lori Lockyer is the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Chair in Teacher Education and Head of the School of Education at Macquarie University. She is currently a member of the Australian Research Council's College of Experts. Lori’s teaching and research focuses on how technologies facilitate teaching and learning in K-12, higher and professional education. Lori is a recipient of an ALTC Citation for commitment to technology enhanced communication, collaboration and community building that facilitates effective learning, supports quality teaching and leads to educational change. She is a steering committee member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research.

  • Dr Susie Khamis

    Dr Susie Khamis graduated from Macquarie University with a BA in Modern History & Politics, and a Bachelor of Media (Hons). Her doctoral thesis 'Bushells and the Cultural Logic of Branding' won the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Heritage Prize in 2007. Since then, she has developed a research profile in the areas of branding, food cultures, and fashion media, and is the founding editor of Locale: The Australasian-Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies. Susie currently teaches large first-year and capstone units in Media and a Masters unit in International Communication.

University of South Australia

  • Professor Shane Dawson

    Professor Shane Dawson is the Director of the Learning and Teaching Unit, and Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of South Australia. His research activities focus on learning analytics and social networks to inform teaching and learning theory and practice. Shane’s research has demonstrated the use of learner interaction and network data to provide lead indicators of student sense of community, academic success and course satisfaction. He has extensive publications and research in learning analytics and is a co-founder and executive member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research and was co-chair of the 2012 Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference in Vancouver, Canada.

  • Scott Copeland

    Scott Copeland is a Lecturer in Accounting at the UniSA Business School primarily responsible for the large first year core Financial Accounting course in the Commerce Degree. Scott has taught across all levels of the accounting program during his 15 years at UniSA and prior to that worked as an accounting and business teacher at the secondary school level. He has maintained this connection to the secondary sector through his role as Chief Assessor in Accounting for the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) Board and as a writer for the Australian National Curriculum on Economics and Business. Scott’s research has focused on education relating to accounting, and how students can be engaged and achieve successful outcomes. He is currently undertaking a PhD investigating the key role high school accounting teachers play in this process and the various influences on them.

  • Professor Dragan Gasevic

    Dragan Gasevic is a Professor and Chair in Learning Analytics and Informatics in the Moray House School of Education and the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh since February 2015. Before the current post, he was the Canada Research Chair in Semantic and Learning Technologies and a Professor in the School of Computing and Information Systems at Athabasca University since 2007. Presently, he is the President of the Society for Learning Analytics Research, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at the University of South Australia, a Research Scientist in the LINK Research Lab at the University of Texas, Arlington, and an Honorary Adjunct Professor in the Department of Human Development at Teachers College, Columbia University. A computer scientist by training and skills, Dragan considers himself a learning and information scientist developing computational methods that can shape next-generation learning and software technologies and advance our understanding of information seeking, sense-making, and self-regulated and social learning. Funded by granting agencies and industry in Canada and Europe, Dragan is a recipient of several best paper awards at the major international conferences in learning and software technology. The award-winning work of his team on the LOCO-Analytics software is considered one of the pioneering contributions in the growing area of learning analytics. Recently, he has founded ProSolo Technologies Inc that develops a software solution for tracking, evaluating, and recognizing competences gained through self-directed learning and social interactions. Committed to the development of international research community, Dragan had a pleasure to serve as a founding program co-chair of the International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge in 2011 and 2012 and the general chair in 2016. Currently serving as a founding editor of the Journal of Learning Analytics and a program co-chair of the Learning Analytics Summer Institute, Dragan is a (co-)author of numerous research papers and books and a frequent keynote speaker.



The Completing the Loop handbook gives an overview of the project and its outcomes, with a particular focus on the Loop Tool. It includes a literature review and discussion of current topics related to learning analytics and learning design, a presentation of the findings of the project, a comprehensive guide to the Loop Tool, the technical implementation framework, and key recommendations for the use of learning analytics in the higher education sector.

Download the Loop Handbook

Please cite as Corrin, L., Kennedy, G., de Barba, P.G., Lockyer, L., Gašević, D., Williams, D., Dawson, S., Mulder, R., Copeland, S., & Bakharia, A. (2016). Completing the Loop: Returning Meaningful Learning Analytic Data to Teachers. Sydney: Office for Learning and Teaching.

The Loop Tool

The Loop Tool is an open-source online application compatible with Blackboard and Moodle that allows teachers to access data from learning management systems in an easy and meaningful way. The Loop Tool can be downloaded and installed on a server by your institution. The technical framework provides an explanation of each aspect of the Loop Tool and a step-by-step guide on how to install the Loop Tool.

The source code for the Loop Tool, the technical framework and a user manual are available as open source resources via the GitHub repository at:

You can view some screenshots of the Loop Tool below:


Papers and presentations
  • Bakharia, A., Corrin, L., de Barba, P., Kennedy, G., Gasevic, D., Mulder, R., Williams, D., Dawson, S., & Lockyer, L. (2016). A Conceptual Framework linking Learning Design with Learning Analytics. Proceedings of the sixth international conference on learning analytics and knowledge (LAK'16) in Edinburgh.
  • Corrin, L., Kennedy, G., de Barba, P., Bakharia, A., Lockyer, L., Gasevic, D., Williams, D., Dawson, S., & Copeland, S. (2015). Loop: A learning analytics tool to provide teachers with useful data visualisations. In T. Reiners, B.R. von Konsky, D. Gibson, V. Chang, L. Irving, & K. Clarke (Eds.), Globally connected, digitally enabled. Proceedings ascilite in Perth 2015 (pp. 409-413).
  • Kennedy, G., Corrin, L., & de Barba, P. (2015). Providing meaningful learning analytics at to teachers: a tool to complete the loop. In M. Hillier (Host), Transforming Assessment Webinar. Recording available at
  • Lockyer, L. (2015). Completing the Loop: Returning meaningful learning analytic data to teachers. Project presentation at Macquarie University Learning and Teaching Week.
  • Kennedy, G., Corrin, L., Lockyer, L., Dawson, S., Williams, D., Mulder, R., Khamis, S., & Copeland, S. (2014). Completing the loop: returning learning analytics to teachers. In B. Hegarty, J. McDonald, & S.K. Loke (Eds.), Rhetoric and Reality: Critical perspectives on educational technology. Proceedings ascilite Dunedin 2014 (pp. 436-440).
    Available online.
  • Kennedy, G., Corrin, L., Lockyer, L., Dawson, S., Williams, D., Mulder, R., Khamis, S., Copeland, S. & de Barba, P. (2014). Completing the loop: returning learning analytics to teachers, Australian Learning Analytics Summer Institute, University of Technology Sydney
    Project presentation
  • Kennedy, G., Corrin, L., Lockyer, L., Dawson, S., Williams, D., Mulder, R., Khamis, S., Copeland, S. & de Barba, P. (2014). Completing the loop: returning learning analytics to teachers, Australian Learning Analytics Summer Institute, University of Technology Sydney
    Poster presentation


Paula de Barba

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