Springtime is Learning Analytics time in Brussels….



67 people took part in our Spring Briefing and Workshop event held in Brussels yesterday on Policies for Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics. They included MEPs and representatives from the European Parliament, European Commission project officers and advisors (DG CONNECT and DG EAC), representatives from key lobbying and stakeholder organisations including European Schoolnet, the European Trade Union Committee for Education, DIGITALEUROPE, European Publishers Association and organisations with a more general interest in data management in Europe including European Data Protection supervisors and the Big Value Data Association.

The morning sessions got off to a good start with a welcome and introduction from MEP Julie Ward, Member of the Culture and Education Committee who spoke about her own educational experiences and the value of open learning opportunities which earned Julie her first degree at the age of 52. Julie was followed by DG Connect Director General Robert Madelin who highlighted the importance of policy-makers when it comes to guiding research in fields such as learning analytics and the importance of creativity in the our increasingly technology directed drive towards innovation. Dragan Gašević then took to the floor and gave a keynote that not only covered the experiences and status of Learning Analytics in different parts of the world but also the challenges faced by the sector like dealing with the inherent complexity of education systems. The second half of the morning included presentations on behalf of the 4 European projects involved in the day, LACE, WatchMe, PELARS and Lea’s Box who each spoke about their unique contribution and take on the field.

In the afternoon, 3 separate workshops were organised to discuss the type of recommendations that can and should be made to policy-makers in respect to learning analytics in schools, universities and the workplace. For the last session of the day, each workshop provided a report back on what they had discussed which was followed by a session led by LACE coordinator Hendrik Drachsler where the audience were invited to put forward the research issues, topics and directions they believed to be most pertinent and ones which need to be addressed by the research community.

Slides from the morning sessions are available on Slideshare. Photos and video materials from the event will be posted on this site shortly and LACE Reviews with the outcomes of the workshop sessions will be available from this website by the end of May.

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About Author

An Irish national with a background in remedial linguistics, Sally first worked in radio and television in Ireland as a presenter and producer for the national broadcaster, RTE. From 1990 onwards, she worked in technology enhanced learning networks in Ireland, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. She is a Director of ATiT which she co-founded in 1999 where she leads on dissemination work for several EU projects including MEDEAnet, SAILS, EMMA and Inspiring Science Education. Sally is an experienced editor, event manager and European dissemination strategist and in LACE is supporting the events strategy.

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