Learning Analytics Curriculum

The market-based MS in Educational Psychology – Learning Analytics program prepares students for a variety of roles within the learning analytics field. Built for working professionals, coursework includes opportunities for students to collaboratively co-create knowledge and also work with their own data sets, as applicable.




Flexible for working professionals

Students take between 4 and 6 online credits per term and begin in summer, completing the program in 24 contiguous months. Students progress through the program with their cohort. While there are no required synchronous meetings, collaboration is a priority and students have the choice to work synchronously or asynchronously. The instructional team hosts optional live course forecasting sessions, fireside chats, and social events throughout the semester.

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Coursework includes:

  • curated sets of video and podcast lectures to engage critical thinking
  • seminal and practical readings paired with reflections and discussion posts
  • hands-on activities and authentic exercises with worked examples
  • short-term individual and long-term scaffolded group projects
  • exposure to and practice with multiple software programs
  • capstone course consulting project with a partner organization

This is a practical, skills-based degree, which is why coursework does not include:

  • literature reviews
  • quizzes or exams
  • thesis

Our instructional design team breaks the stigma of dull online learning by providing captivating content with assignments that push students to practice skills and apply their learning to real world contexts.

Test us out!

Interested in taking a test drive with one of our online courses? Try out our online learning platform, Canvas, with sample modules from the first course in our curriculum.

Take a Test Drive

Faculty Fridays

Would you like to learn more about the program’s curriculum and design? Chat about job prospects in the field, or how current students plan to apply their degree? Join program director Julia Rutledge to gain an inside perspective. Dr. Rutledge teaches the first course in the program and serves as the graduate student advisor, and is happy to answer questions and share insights. No need to register. Just drop in!

Open every Friday from 12:30-1:30pm CST.


Year 1 Classes

Thinking and Learning

Ed Psych 501: Thinking and Learning

Designed to explore the psychological principles that are relevant to learning, knowing, and teaching. Focuses on ideas, questions, and contextual applications. Reflect on personal approaches to learning, knowing, and teaching, and think about past, present, and future experiences through a variety of different lenses. Summer, 3-4 credits*

*Students who opt to take EdPsych 505: Fundamental Statistics may take 501 for 3 credits.

Fundamental Statistics

Ed Psych 505: Fundamental Statistics

Designed to explore the psychological principles that are relevant to learning, knowing, and teaching. Focuses on ideas, questions, and contextual applications. Reflect on personal approaches to learning, knowing, and teaching, and think about past, present, and future experiences through a variety of different lenses. Summer, 1 credit

Foundations of Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods

Ed Psych 560: Foundations of Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods

Presents introductory research procedures in the social sciences, including the exploration of theoretical foundations and practical use of basic tools and programs needed for quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Examines how different methodologies can complement or compete with the other, and overall the course will showcase how pertinent quantitative and qualitative methods are applied in the field of learning analytics with particular emphasis on data about – and therefore issues in – learning environments such as classrooms, online courses, apprenticeships and internships, museum exhibits, after school programs, and other formal and informal educational contexts. Fall, 6 credits

Learning Analytics Theory and Practice

EdPsych 525: Learning Analytics Theory and Practice

Application of data mining techniques to large educational datasets to gain important insights into how people learn. Examines the spectrum of prevalent learning analytics methods and applications, from institutional effectiveness, to classroom-level interventions, to standardized assessments, and beyond. Spring, 5 credits

Year 2 Classes

Quantitative Ethnography

EdPsych 551: Quantitative Ethnography

Explores the theoretical foundations and practical use of quantitative ethnography, focusing on new insights in the field of cognitive modeling and automated coding and their use in applied fields such as anthropology, education, market research, product development, assessment, and training. Summer, 4 credits

***Interested in reviewing some of the course materials? We’ve created an open-access 8-episode podcast hosted by our program’s faculty director, David Williamson Shaffer.

Instructional Design for Learning Analytics

EdPsych 575: Instructional Design for Learning Analytics

Explores the theoretical foundations and practical use of learning analytics for instructional design. Prepares students for professional practice with hands-on experience designing learning environments modeled to predict success and retention. Focuses on understanding the ways in which learning analytics can be used to develop experiences and environments that support strategic learning outcomes. Fall, 3 credits

Ed Psych 615: Conversations and Visualizations

Introduction to communication methods using learning analytics data. Presentation modes include verbal conversations and visual representations. Addresses questions including: What data is consumable? How can we make this data meaningful for a client? Etc. Practice with stakeholder reports and presentations allows engagement in meaningful and effective communication strategies to enhance understanding of learning analytics data. Fall, 3 credits

EdPsych 695: Capstone in Learning Analytics

Introduces guest speakers who specialize in applying learning analytics in a variety of professional environments and to a variety of time-sensitive topics (spanning between student-level within a classroom, institutional effectiveness at a university, educational technology development, national standardized assessments, and beyond). Engage students in a comprehensive consulting project that pairs student teams with a learning organization of their choice to design and produce a consulting report to be presented to key stakeholders. Builds on knowledge and skills learned in prior courses and requires application of program concepts in authentic contexts. Spring, 5 credits

"I like the structure and clear format, as well as the progression of topics."

"I love the predictability of the course work and assignments. This has not only been helpful in terms of time management, but I think it has also benefitted my learning."

"I enjoy the broad range of information I am learning, and finding how everything connects."

Student Testimonials


Pat Walsh, Enrollment Coach

Chat with Pat, our Enrollment Coach

As an enrollment coach, my role is to answer your questions about the Learning Analytics program and to help you decide if this program is the right fit for you and your career goals. I love listening to your questions, concerns, and stories. I am here to answer whatever questions you have about UW–Madison and to welcome you into the Badger family.

Contact me directly: pat.walsh@wisc.edu