Learning Analytics Policy Briefing Workshop report
Organised in Brussels on Wednesday the 15th of April the Policies for Education Data Mining and Learning Analytics Briefing brought together educational policy-makers, influencers and stakeholders as well as political representatives interested in getting to grips with the current state-of-the art in learning analytics and educational data mining.
Organised in Brussels on Wednesday the 15th of April the Policies for Education Data Mining and Learning Analytics Briefing brought together educational policy-makers, influencers and stakeholders as well as political representatives interested in getting to grips with the current state-of-the art in learning analytics and educational data mining. This briefing was co-organised by four EU project consortia, PELARS (in which ENoLL is a partner), LACE, Lea’s Box and WatchMe who are all researching in the field of learning analytics and the event was also supported by European SchoolNet.
Attracting an audience of 70 people, the briefing attracted MEP’s, representatives from the European Parliament, European Commission project officers and advisors (specifically DG CONNECT & DG EAC), representatives from key lobbying and stakeholder organisations, the European Trade Union Committee for Education, DIGITALEUROPE, European Publishers Association, local, regional and national educational advisers & policy maker, senior researchers and other organisations interested in data management & education innovation in Europe.
The event kicked of with an inspiring welcome and introduction from MEP Julie Ward, Member of the Culture and Education Committee who spoke about her own educational experiences and the value of open learning opportunities which earned Julie her first degree at the age of 52. The DG Connect Director General, Robert Madelin, followed by highlighting the importance of policy-makers when it comes to guiding research in fields such as learning analytics and the importance of fostering creativity at all points of education and learning.
The keynote address was given by Dragan Gašević, Chair in Learning Analytics and Informatics, University of Edinburgh & President Elect of the Society for Learning Analytics Research and it was a great pleasure to listen to his address and key messages. Dragan talked on the experiences and status of learning analytics in different parts of the world but also the current challenges faced by the sector for example how to deal with the inherent complexity of education systems and the importance of scalable models by researchers. We were all reminded that learning analytics is not simply a measurement!
The second half of the morning included presentations by the 4 learning analytics involved in the day, PELARS, LACE, Lea’s Box and WatchMe who each spoke about their unique contribution and take on the field: each of the projects is conduction research on learning analytics in different domains be that schools, universities or work places. Please see below the presentation of Manolis Mavrikis from the Institute of Education in London given on behalf of PELARS:
In the afternoon, 3 separate workshops were organised where participants could delve further into suggested policy recommendations for learning analytics for the specific cases of schools, universities and the workplace. These individual sessions allowed us to go into the specific requirements for these different environments and after 2 hours of interesting discussion participants came back together to report back on what had been discussed in the separate groups where everyone was interested to discover how varied the needs are of these 3 groups. The workshops closed with a session led by the LACE coordinator Hendrik Drachsler where the audience were invited to put forward the research issues, topics and directions they believed to be most pertinent and ones which need to be addressed by the research community.
Slides from all the keynotes are available on Slideshare.
If you are interested in discovering more about the PELARS project and learning analytics please don’t hetitate to get in touch with us. Also you can visit the project website here and follow on Twitter at @euPELARS