Article Highlight: Learning Analytics in Higher Education: A Preponderance of Analytics but Very Little Learning?

This Article Highlight features work by Carolina Guzmán-Valenzuela, Carolina Gómez-González, Andrés Rojas-Murphy Tagle, and Alejandro Lorca-Vyhmeister published in the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education.


Guzmán-Valenzuela, C., Gómez-González, C., Rojas-Murphy Tagle, A., & Lorca-Vyhmeister, A. (2021). Learning analytics in higher education: A preponderance of analytics but very little learning? International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 18(1), 23.


In a context where learning mediated by technology has gained prominence in higher education, learning analytics has become a powerful tool to collect and analyse data with the aim of improving students’ learning. However, learning analytics is part of a young community and its developments deserve further exploration. Some critical stances claim that learning analytics tends to underplay the complexity of teaching-learning processes. By means of both a bibliometric and a content analysis, this paper examines the publication patterns on learning analytics in higher education and their main challenges. 385 papers that were published in WoScc and SciELO indexes between 2013 and 2019 were identified and analysed. Learning analytics is a vibrant and fast-developing community. However, it continues to face multiple and complex challenges, especially regarding students’ learning and their implications. The paper concludes by distinguishing between a practice-based and management-oriented community of learning analytics and an academic-oriented community. Within both communities, though, it seems that the focus is more on analytics than on learning.


This paper was published in an open access format here.

Kyle M. L. Jones

Dr. Kyle M. L. Jones is an associate professor in the Department of Library and Information Science within the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). Get in touch with Dr. Jones here.