Learning Analytics Curriculum

This market-based program is designed to prepare students for a variety of roles within the learning analytics field. Built for working professionals, coursework includes opportunities for students to work with their own data sets, as applicable.




Flexible for working professionals

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Students enrolled in the program will take between 3 and 6 online credits per term and begin in summer, completing the program in 24 contiguous months. Students will progress through the program with their cohort. While there are no required synchronous meetings, there will be optional opportunities to collaborate with classmates and instructors in real time. Group work is encouraged. Coursework includes:

  • curated set of video lectures to engage critical thinking
  • readings paired with written reflections & discussion posts
  • hands-on activities and authentic exercises
  • short-term individual & long-term group projects

Schedule of Classes

(Click + for course descriptions)

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

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Summer 1 | Thinking and Learning, 3 credits


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.

Fall 1 | Foundations of Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods, 6 credits


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.

Spring 1 | Learning Analytics Theory and Practice, 6 credits


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.

Summer 2 | Quantitative Ethnography, 3 credits


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.

Fall 2 | Instructional Design for Learning Analytics, 3 credits


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 2 | Conversations and Visualizations, 3 credits


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.

Spring 2 | Capstone in Learning Analytics, 6 credits


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 the student-level within a classroom, institutional effectiveness at a university, educational technology development, national standardized assessments, and beyond). Engage 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.

"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

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Questions? Chat with Heather, our Enrollment Coach

As an enrollment coach, my role is to answer your questions about the Learning Analytics Master’s 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 believe every person has value, is unique, and deserves equal access to a high quality education. I am here to answer whatever questions you have about UW–Madison and to welcome you into the Badger family.

Contact me directly: heather.danielson@wisc.edu