Standing Room Only at LACE Seminars at Bett 2015 Show
It was standing room only last week at the Bett 2015 show for the two LACE seminars that made up the project’s first public annual meeting aimed at those interested in finding out more about Learning Analytics and how they could get involved in LACE. The main idea behind this meeting was to hold a public event that transversed sectors and themes and addressed the “Big Picture” of learning analytics and educational data mining (EDM), its trajectory, challenges and strategic questions. Our two seminars certainly achieved this goal by allowing the partners present to disseminate key findings as well as to assess the degree to which these findings resonate with a wider group of stakeholders in technology enhanced learning.
“Creating an Action Plan for Learning Analytics”
Both seminars were part of the Learn Live series of talks which are public events that anyone of the estimated 35,000 people attending the Bett 2015 show from all over the world can join for free so they attract a very heterogeneous group of relevant participants. This was really apparent in the first seminar led by Doug Clow entitled “Creating an Action Plan for Learning Analytics” when Doug asked people about their background, the audience of around 70 people was pretty much split across a variety of different groups including complete academic newcomers, to experienced researchers and included vendors as well as national agencies interested in harnessing learning analytics. As well as providing a great overview of the subject and showing how even newcomers could start to harness their data and put it to meaningful use through relatively simple interventions, Doug also got the audience interacting by posing a set of questions related to what can be done as well as what should be done with learning data. Doug’s slides are available on Slideshare.
“Learning Analytics: Making Learning Better”
The second seminar led by Jan Hylén, working with Skolverket in Sweden was entitled “Learning Analytics: Making learning better” and attracted about 140 people. This session focused on examples and experiences with the inputs of Michael van Wetering from Kennisnet in the Netherlands, Doug Clow, Senior Lecturer, Open University and Peter Karlberg, National Agency for Education in Sweden all talking about practical experiments and experiences in using learning analytics in different contexts. This session led to a lively question and answer session with lots of audience interaction which clearly could have gone on a lot longer if time had allowed. Information about LACE was taken up by participants and there was a lot of interest in being put on the list for the newsletter as well as on becoming associate LACE partners which the team will be working on in the coming weeks. The slides from this session are available on Slideshare.
After the Seminars …
After the two seminars about 30 people met for lunch to take the discussion further, this provided a great opportunity for more in-depth discussion with quite a few participants and helped to consolidate the impact of the overall event.
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