I was very interested to read a story in last week’s Chronicle of Higher Education about “Signals,” a piece of software developed at Purdue that gives students feedback about how they’re doing in a course: chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/purdue-u-software-prompt-students-to-study-and-graduate/46853 The data on the software’s effect on student retention was truly astonishing. Signals seems to be tightly integrated with Blackboard, but it sounds reminiscent of the promise of MOOCs to improve “learning analytics”: online.stanford.edu/news/2013/04/11/learning-analytics-stanford-takes-huge-leap-forward-moocs, even though the analytics it presents are available to students. We talked about the Signals story a bit on our podcast, Digital Campus, but I’d love to look into it even more, and to get different perspectives. It did make me wonder whether MOOCs even have the right approach to learning analytics, since mostly what I’ve heard about them suggests that such analytics are only provided to faculty and administrators rather than to the students themselves. It also made me wonder whether software like Purdue’s could be adopted and customized by universities themselves using in-house developers.