More than the sum of its parts: the amplified potential of educational data

Research data sets on education and learning are multifaceted, but used separately, their potential is limited. This project brings together existing data sets and uses an example to illustrate their potential for scientific analyses of educational data.

  • Project description

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    Similar to a jigsaw puzzle, an overall picture in educational research only becomes apparent once several data sets are combined and viewed as a whole. This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between experts working in the fields of educational computer sciences, sociology and data mining. We will assemble many data puzzle pieces to create an overall picture of education, learning and digital transformation.

    In a first step, we will establish an overview of existing and expected data sets. We will then assess the quality of the data with respect to their reutilisation, and will interconnect the information by means of big-data technologies and machine learning methods. Finally, we will use real application examples to prove the feasibility of analyses based on compound data.

  • Background

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    In the education sector, a multitude of research projects contribute to a large, partly heterogeneous and confusing amount of data. In addition, the use of digital services generates data which is difficult to process without prior reworking. In some cases, data is also collected unsystematically and repeatedly, creating an increased burden on schools. Our project contributes to the utilisation, reutilisation and in-depth analysis of existing educational data.

  • Aim

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    The overall aim of the project is to connect existing data sets in such a way that they can be used as a composite image for the generation of knowledge in the context of educational monitoring and research. A further goal is to provide examples of how this can be achieved. Thus, the project will use a concrete example to analyse the factors influencing digital competence, and by doing so will contribute to the expansion of knowledge in this field.

  • Relevance

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    The Federal Constitution obliges the Swiss Confederation and the cantons to guarantee the quality and permeability of the education system, a duty which they fulfil on the basis of the information they collect in the context of educational monitoring. On the basis of an actual case, our project demonstrates the potential of educational data, thus paving the way for the merging and in-depth analysis of data generated in educational studies. This in turn serves to gain knowledge regarding the education system as a whole.

  • Original title

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    Virtual Educational Observatory