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

Christine Broughan*, Paul Prinsloo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 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
Pages (from-to)617-628
Number of pages12
JournalAssessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number4
Early online date25 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of '(Re)centring students in learning analytics: in conversation with Paulo Freire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this