LACE initiative resulted in new Asian SIG on learning analytics


A successful workshop and establishment of a new special interest group on learning analytics under the auspices of Asian-Pacific Society of Computers in Education (APSCE), this was the outcome of a LACE project initiative of last year. Till now the focus on learning analytics in the region has been relatively modest, at least in terms of published research. Now experts from many different countries are joining the SIG, and there is good hope that a workshop on LA will be organised at each annual ICCE conference from now on.

Some of the participants at the first workshop on learning analytics at the ICCE 2014 conference in Japan

Some of the participants at the first workshop on learning analytics at the ICCE 2014 conference in Japan

The International Conference on Computers in Education is an annual conference under the APSCE, and the last one was held in 30 November to 4 December, 2014 in Nara, Japan. The 1st ICCE workshop on Learning Analytics was a pre-conference event on the morning of December 1, gathering more than 20 participants. One of the objectives of the workshop was to increase the awareness of LA in APSCE. The conference proceedings of the previous conferences showed that LA was mentioned in no more than five papers. Therefore, there was a great potential to open a new chapter at ICCE and influence research in the region.

The Nara workshop received 7 submissions. Through peer-review, 6 papers were accepted , including 4 full papers and 2 short papers. 4 out of the 6 papers were from Asian Pacific region, including China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. The papers covered a big range of topics including scope, interoperability standards, privacy and control of individual data, extracting data from learning content and processes, and the development of conceptual frameworks. The papers and presentations can be found online for download.

Professor Weiqin Chen, now working in Oslo and Bergen and a long history with APSCE, opened the workshop with an introduction of the LACE project and gave the background for the workshop. After the paper presentations, there was a group session with audience participation coordinated by Prof. Jon Mason at Charles Darwin University in Australia. In this session, audience formulated, discussed and collated questions. The questions generated in the group session will be used to develop further work, also in the context of the LACE project.

As a result of the success of the workshop, the APSCE decided to establish the SIG on LA. Weiqin Chen, who is an Executive Committee member of APSCE, was given the responsibility to organise this SIG. LA experts from many different countries have been invited to the SIG committee. The SIG proposal has been submitted to APSCE and is currently under evaluation.

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About Author

Weiqin Chen is a professor in human-computer interaction at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, and an adjunct professor at University in Bergen, Norway. Her research focuses on semantic and intelligent technology in collaborative learning. In LACE she is working on the work package relating to interoperability in LA.