A Capability Model for Learning Analytics Adoption: Identifying Organizational Capabilities from Literature on Learning Analytics, Big Data Analytics, and Business Analytics

Justian Knobbout, Esther van der Stappen


Despite the promises of learning analytics and the existence of several learning analytics implementation frameworks, the large-scale adoption of learning analytics within higher educational institutions remains low. Extant frameworks either focus on a specific element of learning analytics implementation, for example, policy or privacy, or lack operationalization of the organizational capabilities necessary for successful deployment. Therefore, this literature review addresses the research question “What capabilities for the successful adoption of learning analytics can be identified in existing literature on big data analytics, business analytics, and learning analytics?” Our research is grounded in resource-based view theory and we extend the scope beyond the field of learning analytics and include capability frameworks for the more mature research fields of big data analytics and business analytics. This paper’s contribution is twofold: 1) it provides a literature review on known capabilities for big data analytics, business analytics, and learning analytics and 2) it introduces a capability model to support the implementation and uptake of learning analytics. During our study, we identified and analyzed 15 key studies. By synthesizing the results, we found 34 organizational capabilities important to the adoption of analytical activities within an institution and provide 461 ways to operationalize these capabilities. Five categories of capabilities can be distinguished – Data, Management, People, Technology, and Privacy & Ethics. Capabilities presently absent from existing learning analytics frameworks concern sourcing and integration, market, knowledge, training, automation, and connectivity. Based on the results of the review, we present the Learning Analytics Capability Model: a model that provides senior management and policymakers with concrete operationalizations to build the necessary capabilities for successful learning analytics adoption.


Learning analytics; capabilities; adoption; big data analytics; business analytics; resource-based view

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Copyright (c) 2020 Justian Knobbout, Esther van der Stappen

International Journal of Learning Analytics and Artificial Intelligence for Education. ISSN: 2706-7564
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