George Siemens Interview – “Making Learning More Human”


In this final (seven minute) interview from the LAK15 conference, George Siemens from the University of Texas at Arlington and Athabasca University addresses two questions:

  • What barriers have the learning analytics community overcome in the last three to five years?
  • How will learning analytics develop over the next five years?

In the last five years there have been improvements on several fronts.

  • Firstly, the field now has more cohesion with groups of individuals now recognising themselves as part of the field.
  • Secondly, we have moved beyond basic low level questions around student retention to more complex questions
  • Thirdly, there has been a significant growth in discipline diversity, and at the same time growth in the numbers of masters and doctoral students working on learning analytics.

For the future the focus will shift away from teaching practice to assessment and support of students as more software solutions become available. Data will become available from a wider variety of sources including wearable technologies, which will lead to significant privacy and ethics questions. New research funding programmes will lead to new experimental models.

George hopes that in the next five years the focus shifts to the “human dimension”, and rather than learning analytics being part of the automation of learning that it becomes part of a “future of learning that is vibrant”. By using learning analytics to help with the routine knowledge management of learning he hopes that educators can better focus on the active and creative side of learning, “making learning more human”.

View this interview on YouTube.

These interviews were recorded at the LAK15 conference by Tore Hoel, Hendrik Drachsler and Maren Scheffel for the LACE project. All the interviews from LAK15 are available on the LACE YouTube channel.

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About Author

Christina is currently the Cetis (Centre for Educational Technology, Interoperability and Standards) Editor a role which co-ordinates communications activities including publications and organising the Cetis conference. Before joining Cetis Christina an e-learning development officer at the University of Bangor, and before that was the manager of the CTI Biology Centre. Christina is supporting communications in the LACE project.

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