Even before the demands of a global pandemic accelerated instructor use of networked tools and technologies for teaching and learning, the increased use of these tools created a growing body of data related to students' interactions with them. These data imprints enable the development of complex pictures of student engagement with resources and activities. From these, instructors can find out how students are interacting with each other, content, and themselves.
Access to this information enables instructors to evaluate and reflect on how their students are engaging, assess whether changes in their teaching practices or resources are needed, and gain insights into the relevance of these resources for students in more limited course contexts as well as their academic careers over time. These data imprints also enable scholars of teaching and learning to conduct authentic studies in actual educational contexts over a wider range of time and participants.
You may ask, then, why more faculty don't take advantage of these resources. Two major factors stem from the facts that 1) these tools are not designed to produce data that can readily supply insights into an instructor's teaching and learning, and 2) transforming these data resources into a form that enables said insights requires skills and knowledge that many faculty have not invested time in developing.
Here, we share three cases that illustrate the use of teaching and learning data for the scholarship of teaching and learning. All these cases were facilitated by the eLearning Research & Practice Lab, which seeks to act as a concierge for rigorous research with teaching and learning data: