Study data & learning analytics
Analysis of study data can help to support students more effectively and efficiently. How do you use this study data in a safe and reliable way to improve education? With learning analytics, study data can be converted into valuable reports, for both teachers and students.
Studiedata Battle of concepts
Germaine Poot

Germaine Poot


Technology learning analytics

The potential of student data is great, but what do you need to arrange technically to deploy learning analytics in your teaching practice?

Combining data from different systems

Students do not learn in one environment. For a good insight into study progress, it is necessary to combine data from different systems. Think of learning management systems, student information systems and testing systems. By bringing this data together and analyzing it coherently, a more complete picture is created of, for example, the quality of the curriculum or a student's study progress. This is often not possible now.

Developing a safe and reliable infrastructure

SURF is therefore developing a safe and reliable infrastructure for learning analytics in which student privacy comes first. By managing data itself, higher education can control the ownership of the data and analyses. SURF and its members are investigating various scenarios: from fully central storage (for example at SURF) to fully decentralized storage (at the institution itself). The ability to easily link data from different systems is a prerequisite in all scenarios; therefore, exchange standards play a crucial role.

Technology exploration learning analytics infrastructure

SURF is conducting an exploration into learning analytics infrastructures and services that are currently used (inter)nationally. Together with institutions, we examine what conditions they impose on an infrastructure and investigate whether existing infrastructures meet them. Based on the technology exploration, we assess what is necessary and possible to offer an infrastructure for Dutch institutions.


We encourage careful handling of student data and user privacy. We formulate guidelines for an infrastructure that are based on the fundamental principles of privacy, security and important public values that we apply and test in practice. This can ultimately be used as an assessment framework for institutions in discussions with suppliers.

Market exploration

What does the current offering of market and technology providers of learning analytics look like? Verdonck, Klooster en Associates (VKA) carried out a market and technology survey for this purpose and on this basis we formulated ambitions.

Read the report market- and technology exploration learning analytics

What do you need to arrange technically?

Werkende studenten bovenaanzicht

The opportunities of studydata are big, but what do you need to arrange technically to use learning analytics within your educational practice?

Read more

Everything about the learning analytics experiment 2016-2017

Togehter with several institutions, SURF developed an infrastructure which data from different sources can be easily and securely linked, and which provides insight into study progress based on analyzes for both students and teachers. SURF ensured knowledge sharing via the wiki and established standards. SURF conducted experiments together with 12 teachers from 6 institutions and published the lessons learned.

Read more about the lessons learned: institutions and experiments with learning analytics