Updates From News Flashes

Speaker Series at Emory University

The 2014 – 2015 Learning Analytics Speaker Series at Emory University hosted by the  Institute for Quantitative Theory and Methods aims to stimulate conversations about the use of educational data to promote student success, however that may be conceived.

Charles Dziuban (October 2014)

In October 2014 , Charles Dziuban (Director of the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness, University of Central Florida) delivered a compelling lecture on the learning analytics through an effective teaching and learning perspective. He compared student success rates in varying course modalities, and showed the characteristics of excellent instructors from the student point of view using concepts such as the Anna Karenina Phenomenon. Chuck’s talk is well summarized in a story by Leslie King for the Emory Report: Statistician Explores how Faculty can Excel in Blended Learning Environments

Alyssa Wise (November 2014)

In November 2014, Alyssa Wise (Associate Professor of Educational Technology & Learning Design, Simon Fraser University) discussed the need to consider how educational data might be embedded within learning environments themselves, as an integral part of the teaching and learning process.  She presented a framework for linking pedagogical intent and student activity through data-based reflection, and used work from the E-Listening Project at Simon Fraser University as an initial example of how this framework might me implemented.

Upcoming Talks (in 2015)

In Spring 2015, the speaker series will continue with lectures from Ryan Baker, John Whitmer, and Dragan Gašević.  As with lectures in the series from Fall 2014, these will be professionally recorded, produced, and made publicly available via the Emory University YouTube Channel. For more information about the Learning Analytics Speaker Series, and about learning analytics at Emory University more generally, please visit Analytics for Learning at Emory (ALE).

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Australian LASI in November


The 2014 Australian Learning Analytics Summer Institute (ALASI) will run 20-21 November in Sydney. ALASI adds another node to SoLAR’s international network of community and discipline-building events. Building on the success of last year, ALASI is the premier forum in Australia for the exchange of knowledge and innovation in learning analytics.

Keynote addresses from Gregor Kennedy and Anne Young will offer distinctive leader / researcher / practitioner perspectives, and will combine with workshops, tutorials and panel discussions to create a friendly, challenging event: engage with the national community right at the intersection of data, algorithms, pedagogy and strategy.

Learn more on the ALASI website…

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LACE SoLAR Flare in October

The Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE) project – an initiative funded by the EU’s FP7 programme – will be holding a SoLAR Flare event at The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, on Friday 24 October 2014 from 10am to 4.30pm.

We are inviting technology specialists, teachers, researchers, educators, ICT purchasing decision-makers, senior leaders, business intelligence analysts, policy makers, funders, students, and companies to join us in Milton Keynes.

We have designed the day to maximise social learning, including:

  • plenty of opportunities to meet with peers and explore collaboration possibilities
  • the chance to hear – and share – lightning updates on what’s happening (volunteer to do one on the registration form)
  • time to learn about, and contribute to, the LACE Evidence Hub, which brings together research and experience in a readily accessible form
  • discussions about future directions for learning analytics

You can register for the event here.


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LAK’15 Call for Papers Open!


The Society for Learning Analytics research is pleased to announce that the CFP for the 5th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge “Scaling Up: Big Data to Big Impact” is now open. The conference will take place March 16-20, 2015 at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

As we move forward to our 5th annual conference, the theme for LAK’15 shifts the focus from data to impact, reinforcing the notion that Learning Analytics is on the cusp of scalability and continues to grow in importance in education and learning. We invite papers that address the impact of learning analytics and especially encourage submissions that demonstrate how the work is relevant to improving learning for people of all ages, leverages the technologies available to today’s learners, and is scalable within the many places where learning occurs. To accomplish these goals, we seek theoretically motivated papers that utilize analytics to provide direction for understanding and impacting learning.

For details on submitting conference papers please see the full Call for Papers and Author Instructions online. The deadline for submissions is October 14, 2014.

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There may be a LASI near you…

As many of you will know, in just over a week Harvard University will host the 2014 Learning Analytics Summer Institute June 30 – July 2. Check out the programme, with keynotes and panels livestreaming and repayable.

If you can’t get to Harvard, there may be a LASI-Local event within reach of you if you want to connect with colleagues in your region. And don’t forget that you can also still set up your own low-key LASI-Local, for just you and a few colleagues to tune into Harvard’s livestreams/replays, and all the other LASI-Locals.

There are many ways to engage…

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Open Learning Analytics (OLA) Summit

Following LAK’14, SoLAR, Marist College, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison jointly held an Open Learning Analytics Summit in Indianapolis that brought together representatives from the learning analytics and open source software development fields to explore how open source communities can accelerate the potential of learning analytics to provide new tools for understanding and improving learning and teaching. One of the major outcomes of the Summit was the identification of a number of domains for future work by the OLA community. These include: open research (e.g. open datasets, open predictive models, etc.), institutional strategy and policy issues, learning sciences/learning design, and open standards/open-source software. Future face-to-face gatherings include informal meetings at the 2014 Open Apereo Conference in Miami, Florida (June 1–4, 2014), a series of community events in Europe organized by the Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE) project, and another major OLA Summit at LAK’15 (March 16-20, 2015) at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

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Get involved with LASI’14 Locals

LASI’14 (the Second Learning Analytics Summer Institute) is a strategic event designed to bring together an inter-disciplinary mix of people working with learning analytics for an intensive ‘summer camp’ that will serve as an intellectual and social springboard to accelerate the maturation of the discipline. LASI’14 will be held in Cambridge, MA, USA from June 30, 2014 to July 2, 2014.

While the call for in-person participation has closed, there is still time to get involved in a LASI’14 Local or Global Online event. As with the First Learning Analytics Summer Institute in 2013, a global network of LASI Locals will run their own gatherings. Gatherings are already being planned in the UK (Milton Keynes), The Netherlands (Amsterdam), Spain (Madrid), Egypt (Cairo), USA (Georgia) and Hong Kong. So get inspired, and self-organise! This year, we are planning ways in which the activities of LASI Locals will be more visible to Cambridge, MA, USA and to each other.

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Inaugural Issue of the Journal of Learning Analytics (JLA)

Journal of Learning Analytics

We are pleased to announce the publication of the inaugural issue of the Journal of Learning Analytics. JLA is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, disseminating the highest quality research in the field of learning analytics and the official publication of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR).

The inaugural issue features an invited piece by SoLAR president George Siemens, as well as four research papers looking at the identification of at-risk students, correlation of practice and repetition with learning, the use of psychometric data in modelling academic achievement, and the use of affect and engagement measures to predict learning outcomes. In addition two Hot Spot papers describe the contributions that contemporary privacy theory can make to learning analytics, and the experience of a resource-constrained approach to implementing analytics in higher education.

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