CSSE Seminar Series

The Paradigm of Big Data in Educational Research: iMethod and Learning Analytics


Ben Daniel


Higher Education Development Centre, University of Otago.

Time & Place

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 10:00:00 NZST in Erskine 315


Many institutions of tertiary and higher education are collecting, storing, and analysing the tremendous amount of data, to help them make better decisions about their strategic and operational imperatives. Within the higher education sector, the increasing availability of digital data provides researchers new ways and tools to undertake educational research, targeted at understanding challenges facing the sector, and stimulating new ways to transform processes relating to learning and teaching. Big Data and Analytics facilitates evidence-based student support and provides academics with opportunities to experiment with new pedagogies. However, the complexity of the paradigm of Big Data, together with the use of the analytical tools, present a number of challenges to educational researchers. In this talk, I will first introduce the paradigm of Big Data in the context of higher education, and describe why this is needed, what are current educational research challenges and share our research in this space. I will conclude the presentation with suggestions for future research directions.


Dr. Ben Daniel is a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education, at the University of Otago, New Zealand, where he teaches Research Methodology (Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods), and Educational Technology at the University of Otago. He is the convenor for Educational Technology for the University of Otago. Dr. Daniel completed his Ph.D. jointly in Computer Science and Educational Technology at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada in 2007. He then served as a Lecturer and a Senior Health Research and Innovation Analyst in the Office of Associate Vice President Research-Health (University of Saskatchewan)/Vice President Research and Innovation (Saskatoon Health Region)—Saskatoon, Canada. He also worked in the software industry as a Knowledge Management Software Architect and Learning Specialist. The author of four books, several book chapters, and peer-reviewed articles, his recent book released 2017 by Springer International entitled, Big Data and Learning Analytics in Higher Education: Current Theory and Practice, pioneers research into the utilisation of Big Data and Analytics in the context of Higher Education.