The King is dead, long live The King! Or funding period ended but LACE continues.

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IMG_20150929_100956The LACE project has come to an official end of its funding period with “great results” – according to our reviewers! BUT we hope that this website will not become quiet now and have therefore set out a range of exploitation actions to keep the momentum that the LACE project has created.

After completing LACE as a funded project, we believe there is a high demand for the European learning analytics community to have a central exploitation and sustainability point as – on the one hand – many learning analytics projects are in their final funding year but – on the other hand – even more projects that have learning analytics as their central focus point have just started. Having a central exploitation and dissemination point for those research projects will strengthen the learning analytics research in Europe, represent European learning analytics research to the rest of the world, further build up and maintain strong partner networks, and be a central contact for best practices in Europe.

We therefore aimed to establish a Special Interest Group (SIG) under the umbrella of the Society of Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR). And YES, SoLAR accepted our proposal!
The SIG LACE @ SoLAR can benefit from the outcomes the LACE project has established and it can use the infrastructure, partner network and knowledge gained from the LACE project. Following this vision, we identified a number of core outcomes we want to exploit further under the umbrella of the SoLAR SIG LACE such as:

  1. Evidence Hub. The Evidence Hub is a place for recording, organising and searching evidence about learning analytics. It seeks to bring together evidences about the effects of learning analytics in the school, higher education and workplace sectors. (http://evidence.laceproject.eu/)
  2. Evaluation Framework for Learning Analytics. The Evaluation Framework for Learning Analytics (EFLA) can be used to evaluate LA applications on a broader scope. We have worked towards the identification of indicators for learning analytics that will help to standardise the evaluation of learning analytics tools. (http://www.laceproject.eu/evaluation-framework-for-la/)
  3. Learning Analytics Reviews. The Learning Analytics Review is a series of articles and briefings for schools, workplace and higher education with an interest in the impact of learning analytics. The topics of the review range from privacy, ethics, quality aspects, and specific sector reports to measuring learner emotions. (http://www.laceproject.eu/learning-analytics-review/ )
  4. Expert Studies. We organised meetings with experts from diverse backgrounds on pressing LA/EDM topics. The insights of those meetings are reported in the LACE blog and summarised in the LACE Expert Studies that are ranging from Ethics and Privacy, Evaluation of Learning Analytics, Data Interoperability, until the Vision of the Future of Learning Analytics.
    –> Ethics & Privacy: http://www.laceproject.eu/ethics-privacy/
    –> Interoperability: http://www.laceproject.eu/data-interoperability/
    –> Vision of Future of LA: http://www.laceproject.eu/future-of-learning-analytics/
  5. Stakeholder Interviews. LACE has so far captured over 51 interviews with different stakeholders and key players of the learning analytics field. Stakeholders can join our YouTube channel and stay tuned for diverse views on learning analytics from the practitioner side. (http://www.laceproject.eu/videos/)
  6. The LACE Voice. That represents our unified social media identity for the learning analytics community in Europe. This involves media types such as the LACE website, its YouTube channel, blogs, specific sector activities, the social media accounts such as Twitter (800 followers) and LinkedIn (550 professionals) labelled with the LACE logo.

The new SIG will use the existing LACE branding (logo, website, etc.) but has a slightly different name. While the LACE project acronym stood for Learning Analytics Community “Exchange” the new SIG name is Learning Analytics Community “Europe”. With this minor change we aim to address the LA research in Europe more directly and also open a European chapter for SoLAR that has it roots mostly in America and Australia.

The SoLAR SIG LACE has the following objectives:

  1. Contact and promote the SoLAR SIG LACE as a sustainability and exploitation body for European projects on learning analytics (e.g. info mail and flyer).
  2. Provide privileged access to ‘the LACE Voice’ as dissemination channels for new members of the SIG and actively use those channels to disseminate relevant events, reports and other kinds of information for learning analytics to European stakeholders.
  3. Provide privileged access to the list of associate partners and policy makers in Europe.
  4. Establish collaboration between the SoLAR SIG LACE and other professional organisations such as JISC, EATEL.eu and SURF.nl on LA research.
  5. Organise one yearly event on learning analytics to facilitate cross-country and cross-project knowledge transfer in Europe.
  6. Incorporate the SoLAR SIG LACE as exploitation activity into new EU project proposals.
  7. Contribute and stimulate policy making for learning analytics in Europe.

Please get in contact with us if you are interested in joining the SoLAR SIG LACE. You can do so as an individual or as a LA project.

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About Author

Dr. Hendrik Drachsler is Associate Professor for Personalised Learning Technologies at the Welten Institute of the Open University of the Netherlands. His research interests include Learning Analytics, Personalisation technologies, Recommender Systems, Educational data, mobile devices, and their applications in the fields of Technology-Enhanced Learning and Health 2.0. He is chairing the EATEL SIG dataTEL and the national SIG Learning Analytics of the Dutch umbrella organisation SURF. He is elected member of the Society of Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR). In the past he has been principal investigator and scientific coordinator of various national and EU projects (e.g., FP7 laceproject.eu, patient-project.eu, WP2 lead LinkedUp-project.eu). He has regularly chairing international scientific events and is Associate Editor of IEEE's Transactions on Learning Technologies, and the Journal of Learning Analytics.

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