(Re)centring students in learning analytics: in conversation with Paulo Freire

Christine Broughan, Paul Prinsloo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Student data, whether in the form of engagement data, assignments or examinations, form the foundation for assessment and evaluation in higher education. As higher education institutions progressively move to blended and online environments, we have access to, not only more data than before, but also a greater variety of demographic and behavioural data. While the notion of ‘student-centred’ is well-established in the discourses and practices surrounding assessment and evaluation, the concept of student-centred learning analytics is yet to be fully realised by the sector. This article explores and extends this debate by introducing the teachings of Freire as a framework to examine the potential to include students as partners in the collection, analysis and use of their data. The exclusion of students in much of current learning analytics practices, as well as defining categories of analysis and making sense of (their) learning, not only impoverishes our (and their) understanding of the complexities of learning and assessment, but may actually increase vulnerabilities and perpetuate bias and stereotypes. In acknowledging the voice and agency of students, and recentring them as data owners, rather than data objects, learning analytics can realise its transformative potential – for students and institutions alike.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalAssessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number2
Early online date25 Nov 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Nov 2019


  • Assessment
  • Paulo Freire
  • learner analytics
  • student success
  • student-centred

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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