I spent last week in California at Center for Educational Research at Stanford (CERAS), attending the Learning Analytics Summer Institute. This was a strategic five-day event, July 1-5, 2013, co-organized by SoLAR and Stanford University. The twin objectives of the event were to build the field of learning analytics and to develop the skills and knowledge of participants so that they can go on to research and teach in the field.
Together with Caroline Haythornthwaite, Stephanie Teasley, Shane Dawson and Dan Suthers, I ran an afternoon workshop on Social Learning Analytics. My section focused on discourse analytics and disposition analytics.
I returned to a recurrent theme of my analytics presentations – don’t start with the data, start with the pedagogy. In this case, starting points could be:
- How do people learn socially and in social situations?
- How can we use big data to facilitate that process?
Our workshop discussion focused on how social learning analytics might be implemented in a physical space. My presentation makes mention of a research project in the building where I work, which influenced people’s behaviour in the building through the use of twinkly lights and real-time displays of behavioural data. If you are interested in finding out more about this, the researchers have published more about it.