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Learning Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs. This provides actionable feedback for learners, teachers and school leaders. Learning Analytics can play an important role embedded in the learning process itself, or can provide insights and information for teachers and school leaders when it’s extracted from the learning process. Why is it important? According to the leading research and consultancy bureau Gartner, Learning Analytics is a hype approaching ‘the peak of inflated expectations’. There is a lot of…

The Belgrade consortium meeting of the Open Discovery Space project was a good opportunity for LACE to test the idea of organising workshops on ethical questions and dilemmas of learning analytics. ODS is the biggest European schools project to date with 51 partners sharing its ambition to make a difference for European schools by building communities and sharing resources. The workshop was part of the eConference organised by the Serbian Metropolitan University on 23rd September. Around 20 participants were given a short introduction to learning analytics and potential dilemmas related to sharing of data, and engaged in a animated discussion…

On Wednesday September 24 Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, organized a one-day conference on MOOCs and Learning Analytics. About 80 people from all over Sweden attended. MOOCs have had a slow start in Sweden and the idea was to get inspiration from other countries who are more advanced, discuss the pro’s and con’s of MOOCs and to look closer at the role of Learning Analytics in MOOCs. Willem van Valkenburg from Delft University described how they started a few years ago and already in their first five MOOCs they had between 15.000-57.000 participants. Now there are some 300…

We should all be worried when data about us is used, but when the purpose for which it is used and the methods employed are opaque. Credit ratings and car insurance are long-standing examples we have got used to, and for which the general principles are generally known. Importantly, we believe that there is sufficient market-place competition that, within the limits of the data available to the providers, the recipes used are broadly fair. Within both educational establishments and work-place settings, an entirely different situation applies. There is not the equivalent of competition and our expectations of what constitutes ethical…

The LACE project invites everyone interested in the research and use of learning analytics to this one day networking gathering event in October at the Open University in Milton Keynes (UK). Under the auspices of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) and organized by Europe’s Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE) project, this event forms part of an international series. SoLAR Flares provide opportunities to learn what’s going on in learning analytics research and practice, to share resources and experience, and to forge valuable new connections within the education sector and beyond. The event takes place on Friday 24 October…

The ECTEL / iKNOW conferences are just coming to an end in Austria and both learning analytics and big data have been high on the agenda. There was the Big Data day, the big data keynotes, the learning analytics strand and, of course, workshops and presentations from LACE project members. We heard about research projects from across the world, involving different types of learner, educator, institution and data. Questions to presenters were very varied, from large scale to small scale, from methodology to setting. That’s to be expected – we all have our own areas of expertise and our own…

Last week’s Performance Support Summit’s keynote in Boston by Rahaf Harfoush was the perfect opening for the event. Based on the speaker’s co-authoring experience first in WIkinomics and now in the latest NYT bestseller, The Decoded Company, the speech was a celebration of how disruptive technologies, sound data analytics and innovative learning models blended in engineering ecosystems can build far better sustainable competitive businesses in contemporary markets. On the heels of its February 2014 launch and widespread media coverage, The Decoded Company: Know Your People Better Than You Know Your Customers (Portfolio/Penguin) is the first book about using big data in…

A report, conducted under the auspices of the Learning Analytics Workgroup under the leadership of Roy Pea, describes how education data could transform how students are taught; how teachers are prepared and further developed; how education research is conducted; how education-related information is used and managed; and how foundations’ funds are allocated. The report, which is financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, points to the ways that business, health and other sectors are beginning to capitalize on the exponential growth of data, but underscores that education lags behind them — and that a major hurdle is its lack…

Using learning analytics as a means to engage students was the common theme emerging from a workshop gathering UK higher ed professionals. The Lace project ran a workshop on “Learning Analytics: seeking answers at a time of big questions?” at the ALT conference 2014 on 1st September in Warwick, UK. The workshop was designed to bring together educators, researchers and developers to explore the promises and the pitfalls of using learning analytics in education.  A brief introduction to the workshop is available here. At the workshop, participants were invited to work in groups to develop scenarios around learning analytics in…

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