Using Data to Support Student Learning

Duration 25 hours
Available as Self-Study


There is a growing awareness across international higher education of the value of using learner data as a resource for supporting effective teaching and learning. When used legally, ethically and effectively, this data can help staff who teach to identify students that may be likely to underperform, students that may need further guidance and give richer insights into how well students understand and are engaging with the subject matter of their modules. This badge aims to help staff who teach to answer the question ‘I know that my institution has all this data, but what can I do with it?’

Arising from the National Forum’s Data-Enabled Student Success Initiative (DESSI), this course will guide participants through some of the key resources in ORLA, the Forum’s Online Resource for Learning Analytics. These resources draw on Irish and international expertise to show good practice that can unearth the power of data as a teaching resource. The course covers a wide variety of areas including developing principles and practices, data protection, designing effective interventions and accessing useful data from institutional VLEs. It will also introduce participants to 16 case studies of how other staff who teach are effectively employing data in their teaching practice.

You’ll Learn to

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities of including student data in their teaching practice
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the lecturer-facing resources in ORLA (The National Forum’s open-access online library)
  • Explore the potential applications of data in their own teaching
  • Develop their familiarity with some of the reporting features in their institution’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

On earning your open badge award for this course, you will have achieved further recognition in the following domains of the National Professional Development Framework for Staff who Teach:

  • Domain 5 Personal and Professional Digital Capacity recognises explicitly that we live and work in a digital world, and that teachers must develop digital skills that allow them to harness the potential of technology for learning impact.

Course Developers

This open course has been developed by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in partnership with:

Lee O’Farrell

University College Dublin

Enroll in this Course


Learn at your own pace on demand in a self study programme


This open course is offered as a self-study.

Learn at your own pace with our on demand courses that are available online all-year-round. Self-study courses offer an on demand alternative and may result in a digital badge through our triad system of peer supported learning.

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Developer Materials (OER)

All materials generated during the development of this open course have been created (or adapted, subject to licence permissions) for use under a CC BY-NC 4.0 licence as open education resources (OER).

Individuals are free to use, share, repurpose, and remix this material. Materials may include face-to-face workshop materials and eLearning materials.

Important: Individuals are required to hold an open course facilitator badge to be eligible to issue open course badges. Learn more