This project builds on systems theory to define its approach to the development of a learning analytics policy framework by following the state of the art recommendations for policy development in the field of learning analytics. This approach is in line with the criticism of classical, top-down and expert-driven approaches to policy development, as they do not reflect sufficiently the complexity of modern pluralistic societies and as such decrease the chances of success of new policies. This approach also recognizes that policy processes are rarely linear and logical and that a one-size-fits-all approach to development is not possible due to numerous contextual factors. Contemporary research suggests the use of adaptive approaches to policy development, which allows institutions to be more agile and responsive to the continuously changing social, economic, and technological factors surrounding the higher education sector.
The use of participatory action research offers a solid methodological foundation from which this project will follow, with the aim of engaging critical stakeholders to participate in policy development in order to take action in changing their institutional practices. This work will be facilitated by project researchers, who will develop new and translate existing research knowledge. Specifically, in the choice of adaptive approaches to policy development and consistent with action research, this project builds on the state-of-the art recommendations in learning analytics that suggest, based on experiences from several institutional efforts in the development of learning analytics policies, the use of a modified Rapid Outcome Mapping Approach (ROMA). The approach involves seven phases that are adapted for the implementation of this project as shown in the figure below.