Posts Tagged LACE
The current issue of the Journal of Analytics includes a paper on work carried out by the Learning Analytics Community Europe (LACE) project) on the future of learning analytics. Our Policy Delphi analysis of how learning analytics are likely to develop used provocations like the one summarised in the image. For each provocation, we asked participants whether they thought it would be achievable or desirable within the next ten years.
Ferguson, Rebecca; Clow, Doug; Griffiths, Dai and Brasher, Andrew (2019). Moving Forward with Learning Analytics: Expert Views. Journal of Learning Analytics, 6(3) pp. 43–59.
Learning analytics involve the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, in order to understand and optimise learning and the environments in which it occurs. Since emerging as a distinct field in 2011, learning analytics has grown rapidly, and early adopters around the world are already developing and deploying these new tools. This paper reports on a study that investigated how the field is likely to develop by 2025, in order to make recommendations for action to those concerned with the implementation of learning analytics. The study used a Policy Delphi approach, presenting a range of future scenarios to international experts in the field and asking for responses related to the desirability and feasibility of these scenarios, as well as actions that would be required. Responses were received from 103 people from 21 countries. Responses were coded thematically, inter-rater reliability was checked using Cohen’s kappa coefficient, and data were recoded if kappa was below 0.6. The seven major themes that were identified within the data were power, pedagogy, validity, regulation, complexity, ethics, and affect. The paper considers in detail each of these themes and its implications for the implementation of learning analytics.
The PELARS project (Practice-based Experiential Learning Analytics Research And Support) invited me to Brussels for their Policies for using Big Data event on 9 November. The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness about the potential of analysis of data produced by learning technologies to catalyze the effective design of adaptive teaching, learning and assessment at scale. The aim was to bring together people interested in exploring the state-of-the-art of learning analytics, as well as to be informed about opportunities and barriers for adoption.
I chaired the panel discussion at the event, and was also able to talk to participants about the LACE project, following a presentation on LACE by Hendrik Drachsler.
On 15 April, the LACE project held a one-day briefing and workshop in Brussels on Policies for Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics. Originally planned to take place in the European Parliament, a security alert required a move to the nearby Thon Hotel.
The day began with a welcome from Julie Ward, MEP for the North West of England and member of the Culture and Education Committee. She was followed by Robert Madelin (Director-General of DG Connect) and Dragan Gašević (president-elect of SoLAR). Their talks were followed by overviews of the current European-funded learning analytics projects: LACE, Lea’s Box, PELARS and WatchMe.
During the afternoon discussion and review session, participants from across Europe worked together in three separate discussion groups to review specific issues related to the use of learning analytics in schools, universities and workplace training.
I worked as rapporteur in the universities workshop (pictured), which had 186 participants, including people from England, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland and Sweden. Our policy recommendations included:
- Privacy and ethical issues are important. Encourage institutions to develop policies covering privacy, ethics and data protection. However, this is a broader issue than educational policy making and legislation. We should aim to influence the wider debate.
- Guard against data degradation – develop and make available methods of retaining data over time
- Develop data standards and encourage their use so that we have standardisation of data
- Address the problem of over-claiming and mis-selling by vendors – institutions do not necessarily have access to the expertise that allow them to interpret and assess these claims
- Need to identify procedure for due diligence around intervention strategies, the competencies do staff need, and certification opportunities relating to these
- Identify requirements for data collection, and structures for doing this on a sector or national basis
- Support the development of standard datasets at national or international level, against which other data can be compared to see if performance is above or below the norm
- Identify behaviours in the field of education that regional or national governments should support and encourage
- Identify ways of preventing the providers of educational tools selling our own data back to us.
- Take into account that it is not just the data we are concerned about, because once it is removed from its context it does not necessarily make sense. Data needs to be associated with metadata that is produced using standardised conventions
The 5th international Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference (LAK15) at Marist College in Poughkeepsie NY opened with two days of workshops.
Organisers: Authors: Hendrik Drachsler, Adam Cooper, Tore Hoel, Rebecca Ferguson, Alan Berg, Maren Scheffel, Gábor Kismihók, Christien Bok and Weiqin Chen.
Drachsler, Hendrik; Cooper, Adam; Hoel, Tore; Ferguson, Rebecca; Berg, Alan; Scheffel, Maren; Kismihók, Gábor; Manderveld, Jocelyn and Chen, Weiqin (2015). Ethical and privacy issues in the application of learning analytics. In: 5th International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference (LAK15): Scaling Up: Big Data to Big Impact, 16-20 March 2015, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA.
We aim to understand ethics and privacy issues in learning analytics with greater clarity, to find ways of overcoming these issues and to research challenges related to ethical and privacy aspects of learning analytics practice. This interactive workshop aims to raise awareness of major ethics and privacy issues. It will also be used to develop practical solutions for learning analytics researchers and practitioners that will enable them to advance the application of learning analytics technologies.
Back in 2011, I was part of a group of practitioners and researchers that published a proposal for an open and modularised platform for open learning analytics. In it, we outlined the development of an integrated and extensible toolset that would help academics and organisations to evaluate learner activity, determine needed interventions, and improve advancement of learning opportunities.
Siemens, G., Gašević, D., Haythornthwaite, C., Dawson, S., Buckingham Shum, S., Ferguson, R., Duval, E, Verbert, K, and Baker, R. S. J. d. (2011). Open Learning Analytics: An Integrated and Modularized Platform (Concept Paper): SOLAR.
We moved forward on this idea in spring this year when, following the LAK14 conference, I was invited to spend a weekend on the outskirts of Indianapolis, at the Open Learning Analytics (OLA) summit. One outcome of that event was the identification of domains in which future work may be conducted: open research, institutional strategy and policy issues, and learning sciences/learning design and open standards/open-source software – and ethical issues related to all of these.
At the start of December, there was another meet-up, this time in Europe and organised by the LACE project, together with the Apereo Foundation and the University of Amsterdam. In a room littered with classical sculpture, at Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum, participants from across Europe gave presentations on their interests in, and vision for, Open Learning Analytics and its application to education or training.
- Niall Sclater, from JISC in the UK, talked about developing the infrastructure for basic learning analytics systems.
- Thieme Hemmis, from DelftX, talked about an open research framework – a standard instrument for collaborative research that can give access to data, people and instruments.
- Erwin Bomas, from Kennisnet and the LACE project is working on a system to gain informed consent for access to data
- Wolfgang Müller, University of Education Weingarten, is focusing on providing analytics to teachers to they can provide better formative feedback. The aim is to provide informative data on learning processes.
- Patrick Lynch, University of Hull, introduced Apereo’s work on connecting up data, analytics and data presentation.
- Vladimer Kobayashi is researching ways of linking the skills of graduates with the labour market.
- Adam Cooper is leading a strand of the LACE project that is focused on interoperability and data sharing.
- Neils Smits, VU university Amsterdam, usesg cluster analysis to understand student activity on the Blackboard virtual learning environment. This analysis accounts for 50% of variance in later exam performance.
- Alan Berg, of the Apereo Foundation, talked about the grand challenge of learning analytics.
Following these presentations, we brainstormed ideas for action, exploring objectives for collaborative projects that could be achievable in 2-4 years, the methods to achieve these objectives, and the nature of an Open Learning Analytics Framework as a means of coordinating action. A next step will be to work together on bids to Europe’s Horizon 2020 funding programme in order to make these ideas into reality.
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.
Following LAK14, I was invited to spend a weekend on the outskirts of Indianapolis, at the Open Learning Analytics (OLA) summit. The event was organised to bring together people from the fields of learning analytics and open source software development in order to look at the connections that can be made between learning analytics, open learning, open technologies, and open research. Among the participants were two other members of the European LACE project team, who are working on linking communities and exchanging information with relation to learning analytics.
One outcome of the event was the identification of domains in which future work may be conducted. These included: open research, institutional strategy and policy issues, and learning sciences/learning design and open standards/open-source software. Ethical issues were also examined in relation to all of these.
More information about the OLA Summit is available in the press release about its findings, signed by 37 of the participants.