This paper develops a theoretical framework for employing learning analytics in online education to trace multiple learning variations of online students by considering their potential of being multiple intelligences based on Howard Gardner’s 1983 theory of multiple intelligences. The study first emphasizes the need to facilitate students as multiple intelligences by online education systems and then suggests a framework of the advanced form of learning analytics i.e., multimodal learning analytics for tracing and facilitating multiple intelligences while they are engaged in online ubiquitous learning. As multimodal learning analytics is still an evolving area, it poses many challenges for technologists, educationists as well as organizational managers. Learning analytics make machines meet humans, therefore, the educationists with an expertise in learning theories can help technologists devise latest technological methods for multimodal learning analytics and organizational managers can implement them for the improvement of online education. Therefore, a careful instructional design based on a deep understanding of students’ learning abilities, is required to develop teaching plans and technological possibilities for monitoring students’ learning paths. This is how learning analytics can help design an adaptive instructional design based on a quick analysis of the data gathered. Based on that analysis, the academicians can critically reflect upon the quick or delayed implementation of the existing instructional design based on students’ cognitive abilities or even about the single or double loop learning design. The researcher concludes that the online education is multimodal in nature, has the capacity to endorse multiliteracies and, therefore, multiple intelligences can be tracked and facilitated through multimodal learning analytics in an online mode. However, online teachers’ training both in technological implementations and adapting educational theories to online education is necessary to achieve this ideal.
Learning analytics, multimodal learning analytics, multiple intelligences, online learning, instructional design, double loop learning