Archive for category Esteem

Human-centred learning analytics

The three editors of the special issue, pictured at LAK19: SImon, Rebecca and Roberto Out today – special section of the Journal of Learning Analytics, edited by Simon Buckingham Shum, Roberto Martinez-Maldonado and I. The section was inspired by the focus of the LAK18 conference on user-centred learning analytics.

The special section begins with a paper by Simon, Roberto and I that looks at the benefits and challenges of using human-centred approaches within learning analytics.


The design of effective learning analytics (LA) extends beyond sound technical and pedagogical principles. If analytics are to be adopted and used successfully to support learning and teaching, their design process needs to take into account a range of human factors, including why and how they will be used. In this editorial, we introduce principles of human-centred design developed in other, related fields that can be adopted and adapted to support the development of human-centred learning analytics (HCLA). We draw on the papers in this special section, together with the wider literature, to define human-centred design in the field of LA and to identify the benefits and challenges that this approach offers. We conclude by suggesting that HCLA will enable the community to achieve more impact, more quickly, with tools that are fit for the purpose and a pleasure to use.


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Pedagogical innovations

Part of the cover of 'Pedagogical innovations for technology-enabled learning'New report out for the Commonwealth of Learning: Pedagogical Innovations in Technology-enabled Learning.

This guide explores how pedagogy and vision underpin successful TEL innovation, as well as the other building blocks that are needed. It also outlines recent pedagogical innovations in TEL that can be trialed in any classroom where learners have access to smartphones and the Internet.

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Learning Analytics Summer Institute

Tweet about the tutorialEvery year, the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) runs a Learning Analytics Summer Institute (LASI) in North America, often alongside related LASI events around the world. I’ve attended LASI events in Spain, Norway, and the UK in different years. This year, I’m at the main event, held at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. It’s one of the biggest LASI events ever, with almost 140 people here for tutorials and workshops related to learning analytics. I’m here running a couple of tutorials about qualitative approaches to learning analytics.

Qualitative approaches to learning analytics

Learning analytics is a field concerned with ‘the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts’. This implies a quantitative approach. However, it has become increasingly clear that ‘understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs’ also requires qualitative approaches.

Qualitative approaches can be used to understand why learners and teachers act as they do, to explain their decisions, to explore the importance of context for learning analytics, and to increase the value of learning analytics tools and methods.

This tutorial is intended for participants who have little experience of qualitative research and would like to explore how it can be used in the context of learning analytics.

When you have successfully completed this tutorial, you will have developed your ability to:

  • decide when and why to use qualitative approaches in learning analytics research
  • design a qualitative research study
  • analyse qualitative data
  • establish the trustworthiness of qualitative research.
Group pictures taken at LASI

LASI workshop leads (top) and other attendees


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Tweet:  in #edtech I’m inspired by @catherinecronin @gconole @bonstewart @R3beccaF @PippaYeoman @lucila_fdc @lucipangrazio @Czernie and many others

Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 20.00.58

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FLAN London/Melbourne

Tweet about the London eventThe FutureLearn Academic Network (FLAN) has grown, with the addition of an Asia/Pacific chapter. The summer FLAN meeting therefore took place in two venues on 6 June. From noon until 6pm, the meeting took place in Melbourne, Australia, with some talks live streamed from Perth. At 6pm Australian time and 9am UK time, a keynote from Mike Sharples in London united the two groups. The event then continued in London, with talks live streamed in from Indianapolis, Madrid, Sheffield  and Milton Keynes. That’s 13 hours of FLAN – with speakers live on three continents!

Programme for FLAN event in Melbourne 6 June 2019

(all timings in local time)

12.30 Introduction: Marcus O’Donnell, PVC Teaching and Learning, Deakin University

12.45 Where to next with micro-credentials – and why? Beverley Oliver, Emeritus Professor, Deakin University

13.30 Enhancing learning experiences beyond MOOCs: design, use, and efficiency of generous interfaces Goki Miyakita, Keio University

13.45 Role of MOOCs in fostering and hindering global learning: Harsh Suri, Senior lecturer, Deakin University

14.00 Workshop on researching digital education: Philip Dawson and Margaret Bearman, Associate lecturers, Deakin University (face-to-face activity)

15.15 Break for afternoon tea

15.30 Panel: What’s the strategic value of researching MOOCs in the university sector? Professor Kylie Readman (PVC Education: Murdoch University), Professor Nick Barter (Academic Director, Griffith University Online) and Dr Clare Lloyd (Academic Director, Online Learning Initiatives, Newcastle University)

16.15 Assessing postgraduate online students’ perception, engagement and understanding on individualised written, audio and video feedback: Anna Rita Sequeira, Astrid Devine and Robert Sydenham, Murdoch University (streamed from Perth)

16.30 FutureLearn Degrees @ Deakin: Master of Information Technology Leadership (MITL): Nick Patterson, Senior Lecturer, Deakin University

16.45 Design of daily video blog enhancing educators’ social presence in MOOCs: Shun Arima, Keio University.

17.00 Clients’ digital stories: using the lived experience to personalise online learning: Darci Taylor, Deakin University

17.15 Refreshments

Programme for FLAN event in London 6 June 2019

(all timings in local time)

09:00 Mike Sharples: Keynote (livestreamed link with Australia) – Pedagogy at scale: past, present and future

10:00 Layla Croll: Responding to learning design (remote presentation from Sheffield)

10.30 Refreshments

11.00 Shi Min Chua: A corpus-assisted discourse analysis of the use and discursive construction of URLs in MOOC discussions (remote presentation from MIlton Keynes)

11:30 Barbara Conde: Using MOOCS as promising language learning objects to facilitate self-regulated learning

12.00 Matt Jenner: Research at FutureLearn – understanding new features

12:30 Lunch

13:15 Paco Iniesto: Understanding the stakeholders’ perspectives to design accessible MOOCs (remote presentation from Madrid)

13:45 Manuel León Urrutia: MOOCs and competencies for Higher Education transformation: an activity theory analysis

14:15 Reka Budai: Partner archetypes

14.45 Refreshments

15:00 Gaurav Nanda, Abigail Genry & Kerrie A Douglas, Understanding what learners like and dislike about MOOCs across subject areas using topic modeling (remote presentation from Indianapolis)

15:30 Annual discussion of FLAN Terms of Reference and Steering Committee

15:55 Eileen Scanlon: Closing remarks, followed by optional tour of FutureLearn offices


Tweet about FLAN in Melbourne

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JTEL Summer School: Bari

I’m currently at the Joint Technology-Enhanced Learning Summer School (JTELSS) in Bari, Italy. This is a fabulous annual event, which brings together doctoral students not only from across Europe but from across the world. I’m one of the keynote speakers, with a focus on pedagogy and the future of learning.

You can read about my keynote presentation in this blogpost by Bianca Pereira.



From educational radio and television, through virtual learning environments, to facial recognition of students and hologram lecturers – when people think of innovation in education, they tend to think of the technology used to deliver it. This technology has helped to extend access to education, but technology alone cannot bring about deep and sustained improvements in the quality of learning. The Innovating Pedagogy reports shift the emphasis towards developments in pedagogy: identifying new forms of teaching, learning and assessment. These innovations can be used to help learners deal with a changing world in which they need to make sense of increasing amounts of data and information, and make the most of their opportunities to make global connections. In her keynote, Rebecca Ferguson will talk about new and updated pedagogies, the ideas that connect them and the skills that support them. Some of these approaches extend current practice, some personalise it, some enrich it and others explore new possibilities that have opened up in the past decade.

(Image on the first slide is a detail from a FutureLearn poster.)

Tweet about the presentation


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Practical Pedagogy

Practical Pedagogy

It was a busy day yesterday! After a morning at the University of Leeds research symposium, I travelled down to London for the launch of Mike Sharples’ book, Practical Pedagogy: 40 New Ways To Teach and Learn. The book is strongly rooted in the Innovating Pedagogy reports, bringing together ideas from all the reports published since 2012.

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