Archive for category Funding

European MOOC Consortium – Labour Market

Snow on cafe tables and chairs in BrusselsIn January, I was in snowy Brussels with Beck Pitt for the kick-off meeting of our new, Erasmus-funded project, ‘European MOOC Consortium – Labour Market’.

Project description

MOOCs and digital continuous education/training are a flexible and scalable solution for a transnational, truly European response to the needs of the economy across Europe. They can keep innovative knowledge and skills of the workforce up to date and anticipate on careers of tomorrow.

MOOC platforms in the European MOOCs Consortium (EMC) look for solutions to reach better the labour market. In this knowledge alliance, they opt for a structural collaboration with public employment services (PES) active on the national labour markets, with companies and with a sectoral industrial organisation. The alliance is anchored both in the world of work (PES, companies, sectoral organisation) and in the world of education and training (universities, platforms). It shows which role MOOC platforms, universities, PES and companies jointly play on the labour market.

PES and companies are not only mediators between MOOC platforms and individual learners, but also as allies in the (co-)development and (co-)delivery of MOOCs and digital continuous education and training (CE, CT)

The main purpose of the alliance is to strengthen the partners by sharing experience and expertise on MOOCs and digital CE and CT; to create a framework for structural collaboration on the development, delivery and use of MOOCs for the EU labour market; to empower all partners on MOOCs for the labour market, and to implement a responsive and large-scale outreach to the EU labour market. This will facilitate the exchange and flow of knowledge, strengthening Europe’s innovation capacity. The visibility and accessibility of MOOCs for CE/CT will be increased by a joint portal for the EU labour market, surveys and a marketing plan.

Last, but not least, EMC-LM will contribute to regional, national and European policies for continuous education and training, employment and growth, proposing strategies for change and action plans. By doing this, it contributes to the Modernisation Agenda and Digital Education Plan.

Project partners

  • 1. EADTU Vereniging van European Distance Teaching Universities, Netherlands. (MOOC platform OpenupEd)
  • 2. FUTURELEARN, United Kingdom
  • 3. GIP-FUN France Université Numérique (MOOC platform), France
  • 4 TED Telefónica Educación Digital (runs MiriadaX MOOC platform), Spain
  • 5 UniFg University of Foggia (lead partner in Italian MOOC platform), Italy, EduOpen
  • 6 OUUK The Open University, United Kingdom
  • 7 VDAB Public authority for the co-ordination of the labour market in Flanders, Belgium
  • 8 ANPAL National Agency for Active Labour Policies, Italy
  • 9 OPCALIM French government agency in charge of Vocational Training for the food-processing  industry, France

Our first big task in the project will be to produce a state-of-the-art analysis of MOOC provisions for the EU labour market.


Leave a comment

LAK17: doctoral consortium

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 09.19.17A very busy week in Vancouver at the LAK17 (learning analytics and knowledge) conference kicked off with the all-day doctoral consortium on 14 March (funded by SoLAR and the NSF). I joined Bodong Chen and Ani Aghababyan as an organiser this year and we enjoyed working with the ten talented doctoral students from across the world who gained a place in the consortium.

  1. Alexander Whitelock-Wainwright: Students’ intentions to use technology in their learning: The effects of internal and external conditions
  2. Alisa Acosta: The design of learning analytics to support a knowledge community and inquiry approach to secondary science
  3. Daniele Di Mitri: Digital learning shadow: digital projection, state estimation and cognitive inference for the learning self
  4. Danielle Hagood: Learning analytics in non-cognitive domains
  5. Justian Knobbout: Designing a learning analytics capabilities model
  6. Leif Nelson: The purpose of higher education in the discourse of learning analytics
  7. Quan Nguyen: Unravelling the dynamics of learning design within and between disciplines in higher education using learning analytics
  8. Stijn Van Laer: Design guidelines for blended learning environments to support self-regulation: event sequence analysis for investigating learners’ self-regulatory behavior
  9. Tracie Farrell Frey: Seeking relevance: affordances of learning analytics for self-regulated learning
  10. Ye Xiong: Write-and-learn: promoting meaningful learning through concept map-based formative feedback on writing assignments

The intention of the doctoral consortium was to support and inspire doctoral students in their ongoing research efforts. The objectives were to:

  • Provide a setting for mutual feedback on participants’ current research and guidance on future research directions from a mentor panel
  • Create a forum for engaging in dialogue aimed at building capacity in the field with respect to current issues in learning analytics ranging from methods of gathering analytics, interpreting analytics with respect to learning issues, considering ethical issues, relaying the meaning of analytics to impact teaching and learning, etc.
  • Develop a supportive, multidisciplinary community of learning analytics scholars
  • Foster a spirit of collaborative research across countries, institutions and disciplinary background
  • Enhance participating students’ conference experience by connecting participants to other LAK attendees


Leave a comment

Research Evidence on the Use of Learning Analytics: Implications for Education Policy

Report coverThe final report on our study of learning analytics for European educational policy (LAEP) is now out.

Research Evidence on the Use of Learning Analytics: Implications for Education Policy brings together the findings of a literature review; case studies; an inventory of tools, policies and practices; and an expert workshop.

The report also provides an Action List for policymakers, practitioners, researchers and industry members to guide work in Europe.

Learning Analytics: Action List

Policy leadership and governance practices

  • Develop common visions of learning analytics that address strategic objectives and priorities
  • Develop a roadmap for learning analytics within Europe
  • Align learning analytics work with different sectors of education
  • Develop frameworks that enable the development of analytics
  • Assign responsibility for the development of learning analytics within Europe
  • Continuously work on reaching common understanding and developing new priorities

Institutional leadership and governance practices

  • Create organisational structures to support the use of learning analytics and help educational leaders to implement these changes
  • Develop practices that are appropriate to different contexts
  • Develop and employ ethical standards, including data protection

Collaboration and networking

  • Identify and build on work in related areas and other countries
  • Engage stakeholders throughout the process to create learning analytics that have useful features
  • Support collaboration with commercial organisations

Teaching and learning practices

  • Develop learning analytics that makes good use of pedagogy
  • Align analytics with assessment practices

Quality assessment and assurance practices

  • Develop a robust quality assurance process to ensure the validity and reliability of tools
  • Develop evaluation checklists for learning analytics tools

Capacity building

  • Identify the skills required in different areas
  • Train and support researchers and developers to work in this field
  • Train and support educators to use analytics to support achievement


  • Develop technologies that enable development of analytics
  • Adapt and employ interoperability standards

Other resources related to the LAEP project – including the LAEP Inventory of learning analytics tools, policies and practices – are available on Cloudworks.

The report is cited in the 2018 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the Digital Education Plan

, ,

Leave a comment

Funded studentship opportunity – researching MOOCs at the OU

MOOC educator poster

The Open University is advertising six Leverhulme doctoral scholarships in open world learning with a closing date for applications of Monday 9 March 2015. These are full-time, fully funded studentships, leading to a PhD.

One of the named topics is ‘Educator roles in open online courses‘ and the description is:

“What roles do educators play in massive open online courses (MOOCs)? How can they be most effective in supporting learners to achieve their learning goals? In these open online settings, teaching is carried out by a team of educators, including academic lead, course presenter, moderator, facilitator and the learners themselves. These roles are still being developed, and there is a pressing need to identify evidence-based good practice. The successful candidate will use data from a range of MOOCs to answer the questions above, and will have opportunities to work with the FutureLearn Academic Network, an international team of MOOC researchers.”

If you are interested in applying, you need to provide a short research proposal explaining how this area fits the overall theme of Open World Learning and how you intend to conduct research on the topic selected. See the website for more specific details about applying.

When putting together an application, you may find it useful to take a look at these two papers: Taking on different roles: how educators position themselves in MOOCs and Innovative pedagogy at massive scale: teaching and learning in MOOCs.


, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Learning analytics data sharing workshop

Concept mapping at the LACE workshop

Concept mapping at the LACE workshop

On 16-17 September, I was in Graz with the Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE) . Before our consortium meeting, we held the 1st Learning Analytics Data Sharing Workshop. This brought people together from across Europe to discuss possibilities for data sharing.

The workshop was designed to act as a bridge between research and practical action. It also dealt with the technical, operational, business, policy and governance challenges involved with data sharing – with a particular focus on privacy issues.

The workshop was followed by a consortium meeting, and plans for developing this Europe-wide learning analytics community further.

, , ,

Leave a comment

LACE – Learning Analytics Community Exchange

The LACE team

The LACE team

From 20-22 January, I was in Brussels for the kick-off meeting of the Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE).

The LACE project brings together existing key European players in the field of learning analytics and educational data mining (EDM), who are committed to build communities of practice and share emerging best practice in order to make progress towards four objectives:

1. Promote knowledge creation and exchange
2. Increase the evidence base
3. Contribute to the definition of future directions
4. Build consensus on interoperability and data sharing

This will involve organising a range of activities designed to integrate people carrying out or making use of learning analytics and ED research and development. LACE will also develop an ‘evidence hub’ that will bring together a knowledge base of evidence in the field. Members will also explore plausible futures for the field.

Core partners

Open Universiteit Nederland, Netherlands
Cetis, the Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards at the University of Bolton, UK
The Open University, UK
Infinity Technology Solutions, Italy
Skolverket, the Swedish National Agency for Education, Sweden
Kennisnet, Netherlands
Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus, Norway
ATiT, Audiovisual Technologies, Informatics and Telecommunications, Belgium
EDEN, the European Distance Education Network, Hungary

, ,

Leave a comment

LASI: Panel on analytics for 21st-century skills

Twitter comment about the presentationsScreenshot of the panel in progressWhile at the Learning Analytics Summer Institute at Stanford, I participated in a panel on Analytics for 21st-century Skills. The panel was chaired by Caroline Haythornthwaite and my fellow panellists were Ruth Deakin-Crick (University of Bristol) and Peter Foltz (Pearson).

My section of the panel focused on our work with EnquiryBlogger. This tool, built on the WordPress blogging platform, can be used to help structure knowledge construction, and to reflect on the emotions and dispositions that form part of the learning process.

You can read Doug Clow’s liveblog of the panel – one of a series of posts covering the whole of LASI13 – or watch a replay of the event.

, , ,

Leave a comment