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About Lytics

Data visualization

The Stanford Lytics Lab is an open, interdisciplinary research community. We advance the science of learning through the use of data and digital technology in college and life-long learning.


In September 2012, five Stanford doctoral students – Emily Schneider from Education, René Kizilcec from Communication, Sherif Halawa from Electrical Engineering, and Chris Piech and Chinmay Kulkarni from Computer Science – met informally to discuss research opportunities based on the large influx of data from the new Massive Open Online Courses offered by Stanford faculty. These discussions, as they matured and became more structured, were the genesis for the Lytics (“Learning Analytics”) Lab at Stanford.

The founding group of doctoral students asked Professors Roy Pea and John Mitchell to direct the lab’s research efforts as more doctoral and post-doctoral students from various academic fields with an interest in improving online learning joined the group. Professor John Mitchell was appointed Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning (VPTL) at Stanford and the lab has become the unofficial research group of the office of the VPTL, thereby ensuring that research findings are communicated directly to instructional designers and that novel questions could be raised for investigation by Lytics researchers.

Lytics Lab meetings are attended by faculty, students, researchers, and others – from academia, industry, and from around the world – who would like to know more about the lab’s work, form collaborations, and strengthen their understanding of current learning analytics research. In Fall 2013, under the instruction of Professors John Mitchell and Mitchell Stevens, the Lytics Lab became a credit-bearing seminar with the goals of formally mapping the knowledge space relevant to the lab’s research and continually supporting the ongoing projects. The Lytics Lab continues to run in this format. Professors John Mitchell, Candace Thille, and Mitchell Stevens serve as Lab Directors.

Thanks for photos and icons: Elif Ayiter, Vectors Market, & Noun Project.