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JISC effective learning analytics

Following my visit to Korea, it was great to see Il-Hyun Jo at the 8th UK Learning Analytics event, which was organised at The Open University by JISC.


Il-Hyun talked about the problems associated with learning analytics in a country where grades are allocated in relation to a normal distribution curve – so if one student’s grades go up, another student’s grades will go do – and where competition to enter universities is so intense that retention is not viewed as a problem.


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Interviewed in Uruguay

While I was in Montevideo, at the invitation of Plan Ceibal, I was interviewed about learning analytics. This playlist of four short videos (subtitled in Spanish) deals with the potential of Big Data to improve learning, how The Open University has used learning analytics, and the work of the LACE and LAEP projects.

I talk about how analytics can be used to identify when students are dropping behind, how they can be used to identify successful routes through courses, and how they can identify types of learning design that lead to student success.

I note that the supply of learning analytics is growing, but it is not clear that the demand is growing in the same way. Researchers and developers need to engage more with educators at every stage in order to identify the problems they need to be solved and the questions that they need to have answered.

I also talk about the need to align learning analytics with strategic priorities for education and training, not only at institutional level, but also at national and international level.

My videos are followed in the playlist with videos from Professor Dragan Gasevic, chair of the Society for Learning Analytics (SoLAR).

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Twitter stream

Always good to have a presentation tweeted by your pro vice chancellor :-)
Tweet by Belinda Tynan

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Rethinking Education

I was recently invited to Stockholm, to speak at the ‘Rethinking Education‘ conference run by the Ratio Institute. The conference objective was ‘to focus on the need to design for the future education and skills systems that enable young people and adults to develop the knowledge and skills needed in the labour market, as well as for personal development and important societal goals.’

My focus was on the benefits and challenges offered by MOOCs, with particular reference to FutureLearn.

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Working with a regius professor

This is a press release released by The Open University at the end of January, concerning my colleague and line manager, Professor Eileen Scanlon.

Her Majesty the Queen has bestowed upon the OU a Regius Professorship in Open Education to mark the Diamond Jubilee.   

A Regius Professorship is a rare privilege, with only two created in the past century. It is a reflection of the exceptionally high quality of teaching and research at an institution.

The OU Regius Chair in Open Education is located in the Institute of Educational Technology and recognises the work of Professor Eileen Scanlon, who will be its first incumbent.

Eileen is an internationally recognised luminary in the field of educational technology and public understanding of science. With over 37 years of service to the OU, Professor Scanlon has driven up standards of open education across the world through intelligent use of technology, combined with impeccable pedagogic insight, and has exerted a major impact on the direction of OU research in these areas.

The Institute of Educational Technology is at the hub of the OU’s continuing research into, and development of, the latest open educational technologies for learning and teaching, enabling the University to do what it does best and deliver quality at scale. This is also a particularly fitting way of recognising Harold Wilson’s 50th anniversary of the announcement of a ‘University of the Air’.

IET is one of twelve University departments to have been awarded this prestigious award. All entries were assessed by an expert panel which included eminent academics led by Sir Graeme Davies, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of London.

This award is particularly significant for both the OU and Professor Scanlon, as only two others have been awarded a Regius Professorship in the last century, to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Before then, the most recent Regius Professorship was created by Queen Victoria.

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