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Many educational institutions are shifting their teaching and learning towards equipping students with knowledge, skills and dispositions that prepare them for lifelong learning, in a complex and uncertain world. These have been termed “21st century competencies”. Learning Analytics approaches in general offer different kinds of computational support for tracking learners’ behaviour, managing educational data, visualizing patterns and providing rapid feedback, both to educators and learners. This special issue brings together a diverse range of learning analytics tools and techniques can be deployed in the service of building 21st century competencies. We introduce the research and development challenges, and introduce the research and practitioner papers accepted to this issue before concluding with some brief reflections on the collection and the relevance of a complex systems perspective for framing this topic.
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