Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education

LA-SIG Webinar: Data, analytics and learning: interdisciplinary approaches to the generation of actionable knowledge

Date Time:

9 August 2017 at 10am AEST.  You will find other time zones for the session here.


Much of my research has focused on understanding the complexity of learning situations so that instructors can provide more targeted support to learners. In recent years, this has been referred to as the generation of actionable knowledge, or knowledge that can be used to inform policy and practice. The collection, analysis, and translation of this knowledge into practice are distinct processes, with different tools and expertise required. Multimodal data is necessary to understand complex learning environments, some of which may be generated from ‘big’ learning data, but not all. As we develop additional ways to capture multimodal data, we also need to move towards understanding how to interpret and connect multiple data types, and identify processes and tools to inform this practice. Each data type comes with its own methodological and theoretical assumptions.

In this webinar, I will talk about the application of an interdisciplinary approach to the generation of actionable knowledge for learning, teaching and research. Interdisciplinary research connects experts from multiple disciplines, to jointly address a question that cannot be entirely answered by a single perspective. Building on research from other fields facing similar challenges, the key steps in interdisciplinary research are to: identify an appropriate research question; develop a shared vocabulary; co-create boundary negotiating objects; visualize and combine data; and produce a new model of understanding. I will discuss the challenges and potential of connecting the interpretations of researchers, designers and instructors; using multiple types of data; and multiple theoretical and methodological approaches.


Dr Kate Thompson is a Senior Lecturer, Educational Technology, School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University.   The underlying focus of Dr Thompson’s research is learning sciences, specifically collaborative learning and discovering patterns of learner interaction that could be used by an instructor to indicate progress through a task. Her research in this area influences how educators design for the use of a range of digital technologies as the tool around which collaboration occurs in increasingly complex face-to-face and online collaborative environments. Kate’s research has been applied in collaborative learning and learning situations that include school students (primary and secondary), undergraduate and postgraduate students. A recent focus has been in interdisciplinary collaboration with two core groups: environmental science graduate students (USA), and STEAM (Australia). The impact of this research is widespread in the USA, through a National Science Foundation grant, the team is implementing the research-informed design of collaborative, interdisciplinary problem solving in five institutions, and another five to be added in 2017. In Australia, Dr Thompson leads teams working networks of schools looking at school change mediated by STEAM and Digital Technologies in Brisbane and Canberra.

In 2016 Dr Thompson received funding to lead the Creative Practice Lab (CPL) at Griffith University. Located in a newly constructed learning space in the School of Education and Professional Studies, the CPL combines teacher education and digital technologies, with state-of-the-art video recording and online collaboration systems. The ultimate aim of the research in the CPL is to understand pedagogical practices in contemporary learning spaces, learning analytics informed practice, and online collaboration and design.


You can register for this session here and an email will be sent to you with session login details.


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