Learning Analytics: research discipline and domain of practice

At the recent LAK12 conference in Vancouver, I delivered a presentation on learning analytics as both a research space and a domain of practice. The paper of the take is available here:
Learning Analytics: Envisioning a Research Discipline and a Domain of Practice (.pdf)

…and the slides are available here:

The recordings of the presentations from LAK12 are now available online: http://www.solaresearch.org/events/lak/videos-of-presentations-at-lak12/

LAK12: Vancouver, recorded and live streamed

The Learning Analytics and Knowledge 2012 conference is being held in Vancouver this year. We started in Banff last year and were pleased to have ~100 attendees. This year, we’re sold out at 200+ and have about 40 people on a waiting list. Their is a high level of interest in analytics in learning and as the first conference addressing this area, LAK is getting significant positive buzz.

The conference program (titles/abstracts) is now available. It’s outstanding. All sessions will be recorded and most will be live streamed. Information will be posted on the main conference site.

If you want to stay up to speed on conference activity, follow the LAKconf twitter feed and/or the LAK12 tag.

Huge kudos to conference chairs Shane Dawson and Caroline Haythornthwaite and program chairs Dragan Gasevic and Simon Buckingham Shum for pulling together a terrific event.

For those of you attending LAK12 – looking forward to meeting you! We have a range of social activities (including a great dinner on May 1) and many opportunities for SIGs and informal interactions.

Learning Analytics Resources

It’s getting to be an understatement that learning analytics are exploding as an area of interest. Attention to data and analytics appeals to a fairly broad spectrum – research, K-12, universities, administrators, and startups.

While we are getting dangerously close to hype-level, the quality and breadth of literature on learning analytics and educational datamining is improving as well. A few recent resources that I’ve come across may be of interest:

The State of Learning Analytics in 2012:A Review and Future Challenges (.pdf). An excellent report by Rebecca Ferguson, providing an overview of LA as well as challenges going forward.

Analytics in Higher Education: Establishing a Common Language (.pdf) Self explanatory by title alone :).

Enhancing Teaching and Learning through Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics (.pdf). A report by US Dept of Education. Details analytics processes and provides important challenges to consider if the field of LA is to progress.

And finally, last week I presented to EDUCAUSE’s online conference on learning analytics. Slides are below:

LAK12: Sold Out!

From my experiences with conference in education, especially research conferences, selling out an event is extremely rare. Last year, when LAK11 was held in Banff, we were worried right until the conference about attendance and how much we would lose. We managed to get 100 attendees and break even. A huge relief and an excellent event. The proceedings have since been published by ACM and the session recordings are available online.

LAK12 is being held in Vancouver this year. Shane Dawson and Caroline Haythornthwaite are conference co-chairs and Dragan Gasevic and Simon Buckingham Shum are program chairs for LAK12. A few weeks ago, the conference was officially sold out with about 200 expected to attend. Amazing…and an encouraging statement of the need and interest for a research-oriented view of learning analytics. A quick scan of the conference program (.pdf) suggests an outstanding event!

While I’m not clear of the details, the conference will be streamed and recorded. More details will be posted as soon as they are available.

Moving from buzzwords to implementation

EDUCAUSE has been involved in academic and learning analytics publications and conversations for over five years. I had the pleasure today to deliver a presentation on moving from buzzwords to implementation. Slides are below:

A few recent resources on learning analytics

A few resources from the past month or so that might be of interest:

1. EDUCAUSE’s fall EQ issue has a strong focus on learning and analytics. The Warger & Oblinger as well as the Grajek articles are particularly relevant for the analytics crowd.

2. Simon Buckingham Shum delivered a keynote for the ASCILITE conference last week on the topic of Learning Analytics: Dream, Nightmare, or Fairydust? Slides and recording have been posted.

3. We’ve set up an organization – Society for Learning Analytics Research – to promote analytics in education and learning and to provide researchers and others with a venue to connect and share ideas. To kick things off, we’ve posted a paper on open learning analytics. Background and info on the project are available.

EDUCAUSE: Learning Analytics

Slides from a presentation I did at EDUCAUSE a few weeks ago in Philadelphia. I’ll post the video recording of the session once it’s available.

UPDATE: the video is available here.

Big data and analytics

Learning analytics is not an entirely new concept as the tools, terminology, and methods are largely borrowed from related fields (business intelligence in particular). The current explosion of interest in analytics, (big) data, and cloud computing is moving the conversation forward at a stunning pace. It’s difficult to get away from analytics and discussions of data. Unfortunately, it’s even more difficult to get a sense of the scope and domain of analytics.

Learning analytics are starting to develop their own identity. We no longer need to rely only on “look at what Amazon does” or “think of it like Shazam for learning” to describe analytics. Purdue’s Signals, UBMC’s “check my activity“, and WCET’s PAR are first generation examples of the education field presenting developing its own analytics tools and concepts.

Still, there are many resources outside of education that can provide insight, models, and classification schemes to consider in analytics discussion and adoption. I came across this image from Dion Hinchcliffe:

This is a reasonably simple model, providing an overview of tools/technologies, analytics vendors, so called “deep insight” as well as business objectives. With a bit of tweaking, I think it can provide a useful application for learning analytics as well…

Videos from Learning Analytics and Knowledge 2011

Apologies for the delay on getting these posted, but the videos for Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference in Banff (way back in February 2011) are now available:

SoLAResearch Blip.tv

Open Online Course: Learning Analytics 2012

Open Online Course

In 2011, SoLAR member offered an open online course on learning analytics (syllabus). A similar course will be offered January 23-March17, 2012. If you would like to participate in the course, please provide your email below (other fields are optional).

Fill out your e-mail address to register for the open online course
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