Supporting Higher Education to Integrate Learning Analytics (SHEILA)

To assist European universities to become more mature users and custodians of digital data about their students as they learn online, the SHEILA Project will build a policy development framework that promotes formative assessment and personalized learning, by taking advantage of direct engagement of stakeholders in the development process. It will run over 2016-18.

The field of learning analytics (LA) with its associated methods of online student data analysis, holds great potential to address the challenges confronting European HEIs. By merging technical methods for data mining and with current educational theory research and practice, LA has provided novel and real-time approaches to assessing critical issues such as student progression and retention, establishment of indicators of 21st century skills acquisition, as well as personalised and adaptive learning. The use of semantic technologies for the development of LA methods has been reported to be especially effective. 

While the use of LA has gained much attention and has been/is being adopted by many higher education institutions (HEI) in Europe and the world, the maturity levels of HEIs in terms of being ‘student data informed’ are only in the early stages. According to recent reports, most HEIs are in the initial phase of LA adoption, i.e. aware of analytics and using some basic reports. The SHEILA Project will help to address this gap.

The project will use participatory action research and the Rapid Outcome Mapping Approach (ROMA), specifically designed for policy making derived from scientific evidence. The outputs will be validated through case studies, using the policy framework to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of LA policy and strategy in four HEIs in different regions of Europe. The project will use innovative strategies to disseminate and translate the outputs, and to set up a long term learning analytics policy agenda and community among HEIs across Europe.

Find out more about the project on its web site here.

Research areas
Data Society
Research team

The University of Edinburgh - Dragan Gasevic, Jeff Haywood, Sian Bayne, Pete Evans, Yi-Shan Tsai, Jeremy Knox | Brussels Education Services | Open Universiteit Nederland | Tallinn University | Universidad Carlos III de Madrid | European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education | Erasmus Student Network

Key contact
Professor Dragan Gašević

European Commission Erasmus+


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SHEILA project MOOC 

The 3-week MOOC based on the findings and research outputs of the EU-funded SHEILA (Supporting Higher Education to Integrate Learning Analytics) project will begin on Tuesday 20th November 2018.  The course will address areas of concern associated with the use of learning analytics such as responsibility, privacy, consent, accountability, adaptibility, interoperability, and personalisation.  It will also discuss the benefits (optimising learning strategies, personalising feedback) of integrating learning analytics in higher education.

SHEILA Framework

SHEILA workshop

13th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning - SHEILA workshop 

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Focus on: Yi-Shan Tsai

Yi-Shan Tsai, Research Associate

How long have you worked with the Centre?

I joined the team in 2016 to work on a cross-European project – SHEILA (Supporting Higher Education to Integrate Learning Analytics). Since 2018, I have started to work on two new projects: LALA (Building Capacity to Use Learning Analytics to Improve Higher Education in Latin America)and EMBED (Developing a European Maturity Model for Blended Education).

How do you see digital education and why do you think it's important?

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Grant award: learning analytics policy in Europe

Dragan Gasevic and Jeff Haywood have been awarded a European Erasmus+ grant to study and support policy development for learning analytics in European higher education.

Working with six European partners, the project will take a participatory approach to help develop learning analytics strategy and policy in universities. The project will run 2016-18.

For more information, check out the project page.