jyosim writes: College students always pay attention in class and do all the readings, right? Ok, they probably never did, but today's professors can actually find out how much each student pays attention in a lecture and how much time they spent on readings, thanks to so-called "learning analytics." Some colleges are experimenting with using the data to re-engineer courses hoping students will learn more and retention will improve. Professors get "dashboards" and sophisticated charts, changing their role in the classroom. MIT is an early adopter, assigning post-docs to help professors interpret this new data. As the article on the new Re:Learning project notes, though, "How much can big data actually reveal about something as personal and subjective as learning?"