Join us exploring national and regional LA policies!

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The Learning Analytics and Policy (#LAPolicy) workshop at LAK17 will explore and document the ways in which policies at national and regional level are shaping the development of learning analytics. We welcome you to be part of a network of experts who will investigate the aspirations, achievements and constraints in different countries and regions around the world, and exploring how learning analytics could be applied at scale.

If you would like to join us, please use the Expression of Interest form at the bottom of this page. The sooner you let us know, the sooner we can include you in pre-workshop activities! See also author guidance! Also, help us gather some baseline information about policy around the world – answer this quick survey!

LACE China discussion session

Starting the discussion about regional policies in a meeting at Beijing Normal University in September 2016

Overview

The Learning Analytics and Policy (#LAPolicy) workshop explores and documents the ways in which policies at national and regional level are shaping the development of learning analytics. We are building a network of researchers and practitioners who will report on the circumstances in their own countries. Join us in understanding the aspirations, achievements and constraints in your country and region – and exploring how learning analytics could be applied at scale.

The capability of institutions to implement and leverage learning analytics systems is determined not only by their internal conditions and dynamics, but also by the policies and degree of development of the education system and policy environment of the state in which they find themselves. Policies not only creates constraints on the institution, but also actively intervenes in establishing the terms of reference and internal dynamics of the institution. Similarly, institutions respond to the policy environment in innovative and often unexpected ways, and also themselves seek to influence the development of policy. The LAP workshop will explore this complex dynamic between the policy environment and the practice of learning analytics.

Scope

LAP is concerned with policies for learning analytics at any level above that of the individual institution. These may be explicitly related to learning analytics, but more often they will have a wider ambit, for example privacy regulations, or policies on the use of data in education. The enquiry will be focused on three aspects:

  1. Aspirations. What do the policy creating bodies in each country seek to achieve through their regulation of LA, and of the environment in which LA operates?
  2. Achievements. To what extent can it be claimed that the policy environment has led to increased or more effective use (or preparation for use) of LA?
  3. Constraints. What are the factors which prevent the fulfillment of policies for learning analytics?

Outcomes

The policy environment for learning analytics is an immediate reality for researchers and practitioners in an individual country. Nevertheless, this environment is in some respects the water in which the researchers swim, and the impact of policy on practice may not be obvious. The situation outside researchers’ own countries is often unknown, and this prevents opportunities for learning from parallel experiences in other contexts. By sharing this knowledge in LAP, participants will be better able to engage in the policy debates in their own country. Moreover, the examples of achievements and constraints will provide a detailed view of responses to policy for the wider community, which will provide material for reflection on relationship between policy and practice in participants’ own operating environment.

Process

Before the workshop

The workshop will be preceded by a data collection phase. This will involve

  • building common ground on the scope of the enquiry
  • specification of the material to be gathered by participants
  • pooling and pre-processing of data in preparation for the workshop.

The outcome of this phase will be statements about the policy environment in each participating country in a standard format, which will be shared before the workshop and will be required reading for participants.

We plan to organise one or two webinars prior to the LAK17 conference to support and discuss gathering of data on national and regional policies.

The workshop itself

In Vancouver we will discuss the implications of the data which has been gathered, and the open questions which emerge. It will analyse the social mechanisms at work, rather than simply present the prescribed procedures and restrictions contained in various policies.

Outcomes

This discussion at the workshop will be documented, summarizing the data gathered and the conclusions of the workshop presented in a synthesis report. The report will aim to shed light on the relationship between policy, infrastructure development and the application of learning analytics around the world.  It will be published as a LACE Learning Analytics Review paper (http://www.laceproject.eu/learning-analytics-review/), and promoted through the LACE network.

Organising committee

Megan Bowe, DISC, USA
Weiqin Chen, University of Bergen,Norway
Dai Griffiths, University of Bolton, UK
Tore Hoel, Oslo and Akershus University, Norway
Jaeho Lee, University of Seoul, Korea
Hiroaki Ogata, Kyushu University, Japan.
Griff Richards, Athabasca University, Canada
Li Yuan, Wolearn.org, UK
Jingjing Zhang, Beijing Normal Univesity, China

Important dates

  • November 17th – Open call for contributions
  • December 19th – Deadline for declarations of interest (brief description of your interest in the topic, and what you bring to the discussion)
  • January 19th – Webinar discussing contributions, planning next steps
  • January 20th – (early bird registration deadline of LAK17) confirmation of attendance
  • March 1st – Publication of contributions
  • March 13th or 14th – Half day Workshop

Sign up to take part in this exploration!

If you would like to join us at the LAP17 workshop, please express your interest using the form below. All participants at the workshop are expected, prior to the workshop, to make a contribution to the gathering of information about policy, and/or the understanding of the implications of the data which is collected. You can also choose to write a 3 to 10 page paper describing the policy environment in your country or region, and its consequences. A structure for the paper will be provided, and all accepted contributions will be included in the LAP synthesis report.

To complete the form you need to scroll down using the orange bar to the right

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About Author

Tore Hoel is affiliated with Learning Centre and Library at HiOA, and has been working within the learning technology standardisation community for more than ten years. He is now working on Learning Analytics Interoperability within the LACE project.

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