Senior Research Analyst (Learning Analytics)
The University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
Guiding principle: “Midpoint” of the hiring salary range means the individual possesses full job knowledge, qualifications and experience. This position is expected to be filled by promotion/reassignment and is included here to inform you of its vacancy at the University. Job Summary Learning analytics refers to “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which learning occurs” (Society for Learning Analytics, http://www.solaresearch.org)
In the Faculty of Arts, numerous learning analytics projects are underway to allow deans, heads and faculty members to make use of existing data about students, learning and teaching to better understand ‘what is happening’ in our courses and classrooms, and how students learn. The goal, always, is to use unavailable data to improve learning, teaching and student success.
The individual in this role will be responsible for planning and implementing research projects to explore and analyze data sets relevant to teaching and learning (including but not limited to: clickstream and engagement data from LMSs and other learning technologies; MOOC data; learner demographics and performance data; course and project evaluation data; survey data.) The incumbent will stay abreast of current developments in learning analytics and institutional analysis and contribute to strategic planning in this area in the Faculty of Arts and the University. The Faculty of Arts is the university’s largest academic unit with approximately 30 departments, schools, and units, supporting over 600 faculty and staff, and over 11,000 students. Organizational Status Arts ISIT provides instructional, informational and technical support to the Faculty of Arts. The Evaluation & Analytics group undertakes ongoing analysis of and reporting on Arts teaching and learning data to deans, heads & directors. Findings from data analysis and presentation of results in regular reports contribute to: departmental decision-making regarding re-appointment and promotion/tenure of teaching staff; departmental decision-making regarding curriculum planning and course offerings; departmental external review processes; and a range of ongoing initiatives to further advance teaching, learning and quality assurance in the Faculty of Arts.
The research analyst will report to and work with the Director, Arts ISIT, and will regularly submit reports to individuals in leadership roles in the Faculty of Arts. The incumbent may collaborate with and direct student assistants on selected projects. Ongoing learning analytics work will call for collaboration with the Arts ISIT database developer and IT team. Work Performed This position will span a number of analytic areas: data management, data mining, statistical analysis, visual analysis, network analysis; temporal data analysis and/or text analysis.
– Undertakes reviews of relevant learning analytics literature.
– Provides options and recommendations for the strategic direction of the Faculty of Arts in the areas of Learning Analytics, Evaluation, and Institutional Analysis.
– Reviews data and analysis needs with UBC Faculty of Arts stakeholders.
– Plans and implements data analysis research projects and tools.
– Plans and implements evaluation programs in the area of Teaching and Learning.
– Reviews data and analysis needs with UBC Faculty of Arts stakeholders.
– Is responsible for managing and directing the day-to-day reporting for departmental reviews, quality assurance of courses, and custom data analyses as required.
– Represents the Faculty of Arts on campus committees as required.
– Collaborates with other academic and service units across campus on various projects relating to learning analytics and educational evaluation.
– Designs methodologies to address research needs.
– Designs programs to produce written and/or visual reports for internal stakeholders and/or publication.
– Locates, extracts, transforms and clean appropriate data sets.
– Presents findings and their interpretation to deans, heads and instructors in the UBC Faculty of Arts. Supervision Received This position should be able to work independently and with the incumbent of a similar Research Analyst or Senior Research Analyst (Learning Analytics) position. The incumbent will have worked assigned by and report to the Director, Arts ISIT. Work is reviewed in terms of achievement of high professional standards in the delivery of data and analytic services and broad project objectives and goals. Supervision Given Works in collaboration with a variety of roles that may include a combination of academic faculty and instructors, instructional support staff, course designers, learning technologists, researchers, and database developers. May supervise and collaborate with student research assistants. Consequence of Error/Judgement Must be able to work independently and assume full responsibility for their decisions. Results are reviewed for achievement of overall long term goals. The results of data analysis, reports and research will be used in decision-making and evaluation of course and program effectiveness. Hence, errors in design, interpretation or analysis of research could have far reaching consequences: impacting employment decisions made across the faculty, or misdirecting departmental or faculty planning processes that rely on accurate data.
Data sets contain sensitive personal and confidential information whose security and privacy is mandated by FIPPA and UBC Policy. Failure to ensure security and privacy of such data would contravene BC and federal laws. Qualifications Master’s degree in a data-intensive field is preferred. . Minimum of four years experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience with higher education and/or learning analytics would be especially valuable.
Ability to access, analyze, and convert data into strategic information is a critical skill, and ability to use mainstream data analysis applications is assumed (Excel, Tableau or similar, R, Stata, SPSS or similar). Familiarity with the context and goals of higher education and a Faculty of Arts would be an asset. Knowledge of University policies and procedures, and a thorough understanding of the principles and practice of Institutional Research would be valuable. The incumbent will have strong abilities to summarize, communicate, and present findings to a non-technical audience.
Position may be successfully filled by a candidate with expertise in tools and analytic methods relating to:
– advanced statistical analysis (R/STATA/SPSS), and/or
– visual analytics (Tableau and others), and/or
– network analysis (Gephi, custom apps), and/or
– temporal data analysis, and/or
– machine learning/data mining, and/or
– text analysis
In addition, the applicant must have demonstrated ability to undertake research project design, implementation and management. The successful applicant will demonstrate excellent communication skills and the ability to foster and maintain productive relationships with multiple stakeholders in the Faculty of Arts. .
Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.