Successful Scandinavian seminar on learning analytics in schools

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Last week (on October 9th) LACE and Skolverket arranged, together with the Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education, a one-day seminar on learning analytics in schools. Some 45 people from the two countries attended the seminar which was held in three languages: English, Norwegian and Swedish. On top of introducing the concept of learning analytics to the Scandinavian audience, the idea was to try out if the seminar format worked and whether it can be duplicated elsewhere. In short the format was the following: we started with two general introductions which gave an overview of the state of art in learning analytics and the most important challenges ahead, by Morten Dahl from the Norwegian ICT Centre and Doug Clow from OU in UK.Morten Dahl presenting

The second part consisted of three cases presented by people involved in learning analytics in different ways. First Yngve Lindvig from the Norwegian company Conexus who constructs tools and systems for schools to use presented their work. Secondly a Swedish math teacher, Mathias Andersson, described is work with the flipped classroom model on a technical platform that gives him a lot of feedback from his students. The third case presented by Jenny Sjöstrand was a Swedish region where they collect and use data in their planning process with a focus on dropouts at the upper secondary level.Jan Hylen and some of the participants at the seminar

The seminar ended with an open discussion among the participants on opportunities and challenges in learning analytics. Among the issues brought up were ideas such as:

how governments can establish conditions that makes it possible for the ed-tech industry to cooperate in developing learning analytics for schools, and not only compete;

is there a risk, at least to start with, that schools have too little and rather non-sophisticated data (i.e. simple data from LMS’s) that becomes over-used;

if and how statistical data can be complemented by other forms of more qualitative data;

the need for competence development among teachers and school heads on interpreting data and statistics;

and much more. It was a vivid discussion that hopefully will continue even after the seminar ended.

The evaluation forms filled in by the participants at the end gave full support for the need of an ongoing discussion regarding learning analytics in schools as well as positive feedback regarding the format of the seminar. Interested parties around Europe are welcome to contact Peter Karlberg, leader of the WP4 in LACE, to discuss arranging similar seminars.

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About Author

Dr Jan Hylén specializes in strategic analysis and has completed research for UNESCO, the OECD, the European Union, and education organizations in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. He has a background as Director of Research at the National Agency for Education and as a former Special Advisor to the Swedish Minister of Schools. Jan earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at Stockholm University and currently resides in Stockholm, Sweden.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: This Week in Learning Analytics (October 11 – October 17, 2014) | Timothy D. Harfield

  2. Lennart Rolandsson on

    Finns det någon kontaktperson på Skolverket? Är det Jan Hylén själv, som är engagerad för Skolverkets räkning?

    Är speciellt intresserad av hur Learning Analytics kan användas i lärarnas arbete, som didaktiskt verktyg eller för formativ bedömning

    • Peter Karlberg on

      Both Jan Hylén and myself are engaged in the LACE-project with a focus on learning analytics in schools which has its own work package. You are most welcome to contact us directly and in addition you can join the community above.

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