Course Syllabus

Indiana University Learning Sciences Summer 2015 Online/Open Course

Introduction to Educational Data Sciences

P574:  Topical Seminar in Learning Sciences ( #15319, 3 credits)

Big Open Online Course: Intro to Educational Data Sciences

Instructor:   Daniel Hickey (; please do note send course related emails to this address; rather send Canvas messages.  Most course questions should be directed to the TA).

Student Wikifolios    Classwikis        Class Discussion Links

Quick Start Guide:  This course is completed in Canvas at this site.  Read/review this syllabus, click on assignments on the left side of the course home page, and click on the first assignment to get started.

Course Summary

This course is an introduction to Educational Data Sciences.  It is intended to give learners a broad overview and help them deeply understand the intersection between their own professional context and EDS.  It aims to bring newcomers into EDS, so no computational experience is required and any computational activities are optional for credential and non-credential students. There are no specific prerequisites but the assignments will presume some prior experience with education and educational technology and some knowledge of learning and instruction. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to describe and discuss the primary areas that make up the Educational Data Sciences: Learning Analytics, Educational Data Mining, Learner Analytics/Personalization, Academic/ Institutional Analysis, and Systemic/Instructional Improvement. Specifically, students should be able to articulate and discuss these areas in terms of their relevance to your own professional interests and goals, as well as the specific methods and applications within each area.


Course Details

The course is fully online and will be taught in the Canvas learning management system.  While there are weekly deadlines, there are no synchronous activities. The credential course will be embedded in an open online course that anyone can register for. Credential students are required to complete all (non-computational) elements of weekly assignments, interact weekly with their professional peers, guests, and the instructor, and post complete reflections on each wikifolio.

The course is scheduled over twelve weeks.  The first week is an introduction to the course and the second week is an introduction to EDS.  During the first two weeks, each student will define an "EDS challenge" that embodies their professional experiences, interests, and aspirations. Students will use their EDS challenge to personalize their engagement in the remainder of the course. The remaining ten weeks include two weeks devoted to the five overlapping areas that make up the Educational Data Sciences:

  • Data Mining
  • Learning Analytics
  • Learner Analytics/Personalization
  • Academic/Institutional Analysis
  • Systemic/Instructional Improvement

Generally speaking, there will be one assigned reading each week. Students will engage deeply with that reading and discuss it with their peers. The assigned readings are widely cited; students will use the assigned reading and the Internet to locate other personally relevant articles that they will share with their peers and the class.  All work will be carried out on weekly "wikifolios" that are public to the class.  Most interaction between students and peers will occur on threaded comments posted directly on wikifolios. An optional term paper will allow students to assemble the insights derived in their wikifolios in a coherent review paper that should be appropriate for sharing with professional peers.



Daniel Hickey is a Professor and Program Coordinator with the Learning Sciences Program at Indiana University.  He studies assessment, motivation, and accountability, mostly as they related to online learning and digital credentials, mostly using newer situative and sociocultural approaches to learning.


Enrollment, Registration, and Degree Options

This course is available as a 3-credit graduate-level course offered by the IU School of Education.  For information and fees, visit IUConnectED. For permission to register or questions about registration, email You do not have to enroll in an academic program at IU to register for course credit.  Note that non-Indiana residents are offered a significant tuition discount when registering for online courses, which is similar to tuition rates for Indiana residents. If you are registered for credit, you can locate the course in the Canvas learning management system. Log into Canvas with your IU username and password and find the course under Courses. This course will count towards the four-course fully online Learning Sciences, Media, & Technology certificate and the MS and PhD degrees in Learning Sciences and other programs at Indiana University. Students enrolled at other universities may be able to transfer those credits into their degree program

This course is open to a limited number of open students who do not need credit or who will enroll for credit at their home institutions. To do so you will need to obtain an IU guest account here in order to participate in the course. If this does not launch you into the course click here for the course homepage.  Students seeking to obtain credit at their home institution for completing this course are encouraged to confer beforehand with a faculty member regarding acceptable evidence of success before participating. Such students are encouraged to complete the optional term paper and present that paper along with PDFs of their weekly wikifolios and ensuing discussions as evidence of their engagement and learning.


Guest Discussants

On some weeks, a guest discussant (typically the author of the reading) with specific expertise will participate.  They will be invited to comment directly on a limited number of wikifolios (presumably starting with early posters and credential students) and indirectly by commenting on the instructor’s early feedback or post-deadline feedback.  Guests will not be asked to develop or suggest any new or additional materials, but will be free to do so if they wish.

 Schedule (Tentative)


Due Date



Guest Discussant (proposed/ confirmed)

Assigned Resource

Additional Resources


May 17



Introduction to the Course

Piety, P. J., Hickey, D. T., & Bishop, M. J. (2014, March). Educational data sciences: framing emergent practices for analytics of learning, organizations, and systems. In Proceedins of the Fourth International Conference on Learning Analytics And Knowledge (pp. 193-202). ACM.


May 24


Intro to EDS

Phil Piety (Confirmed)

Piety, Hickey, & Bishop (2014)



May 31


Data  Mining

Intro to Data Mining

Ryan Baker (Confirmed)


Ryan Bakers resources

Baker & Siemens (2013)


June 7

Data Mining & Ethics

James Willis

Sharon Slade

Paul Prinsloo (all confirmed)

Slade, S., & Prinsloo, P. (2013). Learning analytics ethical issues and dilemmas. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(10), 1510-1529.

Pardo & Siemens (2014)

Ferguson (2012)

Willis, Campbell, & Pistilli (2013)



June 14

Learning Analytics

Introduction to Learning Analytics

George Siemens


Siemens, G. (2013). Learning analytics: The emergence of a discipline. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(10) 1380–


June 21

Social Learning Analytics

Simon Shum (confirmed) and Rebecca Ferguson

Shum and Ferguson (2012)

Shum Slideshare


June 28


Learner Analytics/ Personalization

Intro to Learner Analytics

Matthew Pistilli (Confirmed)

John Cambell (confirmed)

Mattingly, Rice, & Berge (2012)


July 5


Applied Learner Analytics


United States Department of Education (2010)


July 12

Academic/ Institutional Analytics

Introduction to Academic Analytics

Victor Bordern (confirmed)

Terenzini (1993)


July 19

Applied Academic Analytics

Norris, Baer, Leonard, Pugliese, & Lefrere (2008)

Cambell, DeBlois, & Oblinger (2007)


July 26

Systemic/ Instructional Improvement

Intro to Systemic Improvement

Ellen Mandinach


Mandinach, Honey, & Light (2006)


July 31

Applied Systemic Improvement

Rich Halverson


Hamilton, Halverson, & Jackson (2009)

August 2

Optional Paper Due


The course is organized around weekly “wikifolios.”  These are public assignments that are viewable and commentable by all participants.  In the first assignment, each learner will define their current or aspirational context, including their role (e.g., educator, researcher, designer, administrator, etc.) and setting (K-12, college, university, informal, etc.), and an initial “EDS challenge” that embodies that context.

Their EDS challenge will be used to problematize the content each subsequent week.  More specifically, learners will engage with disciplinary resources (on the web) or aspects of disciplinary knowledge (in the readings) by ranking their relevance to their challenge and supporting that ranking.  Additionally, students will be expected to continually refine their definition of their role and EDS challenge each week as their knowledge of EDS expands.

Most wikifolios will include the following required elements:

  • read/review the assigned resource(s)
  • summarize the conceptual tool in the reading and the relevance to the EDS challenge
  • rank the relevance the conceptual tools in each reading and justify those rankings
  • explore the additional resources, summarize relevance, and rank relevance.

Most wikifolios will include the following optional elements (required for credential students):

  • identify at least three additional relevant external resource and share it with classmates
  • comment on at least three peer wikifolios and engage in discussions
  • promote at least one peer wikifolio as being exemplary and provide a justification
  • Reflect on their critical, consequential, and collaborative engagement

Networking Groups

Participants will be organized into professional networking groups based on their primary interests (presumably Data Mining, Learning Analytics, K-12 Systemic Change, or Higher Ed Institutional Analysis) and role (e.g., researcher, educator, administrator, designer, analyst, etc.).  Participants will be organized into manageable sized groups and will be encouraged to interact with peers in their own group and other groups.

Instructor Interaction

Wikifolios will be posted against a weekly deadline (Sunday evening). Each week, the instructor (and sometimes, a guest discussant) will provide relatively extensive feedback (in the form of comments) on the wikifolios of students who post early and/or who are taking the course for credit.  An announcement will be posted promptly encouraging other students to view those examples and comments once they get started on their own wikifolio. After the weekly deadline, the instructor will summarize how different networking groups ranked aspects and resources and highlighting highly promoted examples of student work.


In order to foster discussion and keep students from getting behind, the weekly deadline of Sunday 11:59 PM EDT (UTC -4) for posting your draft wikifolios is strictly enforced.  You will lose one point per day each day you are late.  If you have a documented excuse for being late, you must mail or email the documentation to the instructor, and the documentation must include a phone number which can be used for verification purposes.  However, given the modest penalty and the trouble of documentation, students may wish to wait and see whether the issue will ultimately impact their grade.


Grades will be assigned to the credential students as follow. The first two introductory assignments are ungraded, the remaining assignments are each worth 10 points towards a total of 100.  The optional term paper is worth up to 10 points.  Grades are assigned as follows: 101+ points =A+; 90-100 points = A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 points = C, 60-69 points = D.  You must complete the term paper to earn an A+.

The majority of your grade will be based on satisfactory completion of wikifolios.  Points are assigned for wikifolios every week after the reflection deadline.  Each wikifolio is worth ten points but you must complete the reflection to get points for the wikifolio.  Students should expect to get full points for their wikifolios. In the event students are late or unable participate, points will be deducted as follow:  You will lose one point for each day you are late after the deadline.  If your wikifolio and your reflection do not actually show evidence of the consequential, critical, and/or collaborative engagement, you will lose those points (this happens most often for collaborative engagement).

Optional Paper

Students are invited to assemble the insights across their wikifolios into a finished paper.  The paper is worth an extra 10 points and is the only students can earn a grade of A+ in the class. More information and rubric are available in the course.


Digital Badges and Certificates

All participants in the open class are eligible to earn web-enabled digital badges which can contain detailed evidence of completion, interaction, and competencies.  As of April 2015, IU was conducting final testing of the BadgeSafe extension for Canvas.  The claims and evidence contained in the badges will be finalized once the extension is available for pilot testing.  Non-credential completers may also request a conventional certificate recognize 30 hours of professional development.  Non-credential seeking professional growth points or formal credit at another institution are encouraged to share this syllabus and consult with faculty members or supervisors.


Other Info/FAQs

How do BOOCs work alongside regular course?

In previous years, hundreds of students registered for IU Learning Sciences BOOCs without enrolling for course credit.  However, perhaps one half complete the first assignment, and about a quarter of them finish the course.  Credential students are required to complete all parts of all assignments and interact extensively with peers, the instructors each week. Credential students should also plan to interact with the non-credential students.  However, be aware that some of the non-credential students will not complete the course or may get behind and complete the modules after the deadline for the credential students.

What are the Teaching Assistants responsible for?

The TA is working with the instructor as part of a graduate research assistantship or hourly employment.  The TA in this particular course will primarily assist with logistics and course details and will not be expected to provide regular substantive interaction or grading.

What are the technology requirements?   

You need a computer with consistent access to the Internet.  The amount of writing involved will likely require a laptop at minimum.  Most will find that a desktop machine with a large enough screen to view multiple windows is helpful.  The course instructor will likely not be able to assist you with your technology issue.  Please contact UITS for support with issues related to technology at 812.855.6789.


What sort of “netiquette is expected?

You will interact extensively with other students in this class.  The goal is fostering engagement that is disciplinary (concerning the disciplinary knowledge of EDS) and productive (connects knowledge with contextualized practice, asks questions, opens up issues, etc.).  Your interaction with others is expect to be professional at all times.  A central goal of this course is learning how to engage in networked interaction with others about the topics of the course.  Learning to disagree professionally and productively is a central goal.


If you need accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with us, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please inform us immediately. Please see us privately after class, or at our office.

To request academic accommodations (for example, a note taker), students must register with Student Disability Services. This is the campus office responsible for reviewing documentation provided by students requesting academic accommodations, and for accommodations planning in cooperation with students and instructors, as needed and consistent with course requirements. Another resource is IU Information and Technology Services Office. For more information about the rights of people with disabilities, please visit the following website

Academic Honesty Statement

Academic honesty is expected. Any incident of academic dishonesty will be forwarded to the Dean of Students, as per IU policy, for disciplinary action. Academic dishonesty may affect both your grade in this course as well as your enrollment status in the University. If you have any questions about what constitutes academic dishonesty, you should seek clarification from the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibility and Conduct

( as soon as possible.

Because much of the work completed in this course is public to all students in the course, it is possible to cut and paste from other student work.  Generally speaking, this is usually discovered immediately by other students and may prove quite embarrassing.  If you like what a classmate said then you should insert a link or quote them.

First Amendment Freedoms

It is the policy in this class to respect not only the right to religious expression, but also freedom of speech. You will not be penalized if your religious beliefs require you to be absent from class, submit an assignment late, or express a particular view. Be sure, however, that you notify us of these circumstances should they arise. In addition, you will not be graded based on your expressed political views, if you support your position with evidence, comply with evaluation criteria, and your comments do not express contempt for others in the classroom community (which would violate other university policies).

FERPA and Privacy Statement

As an enrolled student, you are protected from having your graded work be seen by others and your privacy protected in general. However, it is difficult for enrolled students to complete the course using a different name.  If you have privacy concern about the fact the others can enroll in the course, please contact the instructor and you can be provided a guest account with an abbreviated or assumed name.  If you are enrolling in the open course, you will need to provide a name and an email address when you register.  If you are concerned about your privacy in the course you may wish to obtain a temporary email address to use when completing the the course.



Course Summary:

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