Reflections on the First LACE Project Webinar: Big Picture of Learning Analytics Interoperability


The First LACE Project Webinar

The first LACE project webinar took place yesterday. This title of the launch online event was the “Big Picture of Learning Analytics Interoperability“. The event aimed at raising a number of key questions for those with interests in learning analytics and their interoperability such as “What are the dimensions of  learning analytics?”, “Where do we find the low hanging fruit?” and “Where do we start promoting data sharing and interoperability related to learning analytics?

How the Webinar was Provided

The webinar  was hosted as a Google Hangout on Air. An advantage of this platform is that clients are available on a range of platforms – the accompanying image, for example, shows how the hangout appeared on an Android phone.

LACE webinar on an Android phone

Tore Hoel introduced the webinar and facilitated discussions which included introductions from the participants and contributions from Adam Cooper and Weiqin Chen.

The presentation made use of the Padlet service which provides a presentation environment which, unlike Powerpoint, can be updated by others. The Padlet for the webinar can be viewed. As shown in the accompanying image the webinar was addressed a variety of aspects of interoperability – it was acknowledged that it would be a mistake to regard interoperability a purely a technical issue.

Another benefit of using Hangout on Air is that YouTube can be used to provide an additional channel, both for viewing the live webinar and also for watching a recording of the presentation and discussions.

The recording on YouTube can be provided immediately after the webinar has concluded. The webinar is now available on the LACE project’s YouTube channel. Note that the recording lasts for 58 minutes.

Initial Feedback

Sheila MacNeill provided a succinct summary of the webinar in a tweet:

More questions than answers around interop. & analytics in #LACEproject webinar?

She went on to provide a link to her visual notes of the webinar which are also available on Flickr and included in this post.

Sheila MacNeill's visual notes

This is a fair summary – in the early stages of the LACE project we will be seeking to understand the questions which need to be asked.  We will look to provide answers to these questions during the life of the project.

What Next?

The LACE project team will be reviewing the experiences gained during the launch webinar in order to identify any improvements which can be made.

If you have an interest in learning analytics you may wish to join the LACE community.

Those based in the UK may be interested in the half-day session on Developing a Learning Analytics Strategy for a HEI which will take place during the Cetis 2014 conference which will be held in the University of Bolton on 17-18 June.


About Author

Brian Kelly is the Innovation Advocate at Cetis (Centre for Educational Technology, Interoperability and Standards). Brian has an interest in helping to embed innovative technologies and practices in higher education. Brian embraces open practices in his work, in particular through his UK Web Focus blog and his @briankelly Twitter account. Brian is managing the LACE WP2 on user engagement and outreach.

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