Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education

ASCILITE Learning Analytics SIG

The ASCILITE Learning Analytics Special Interest Group (LA SIG) aims to develop awareness and resources about Learning Analytics (LA) and its application to learning and teaching. We focus on facilitating networks and sharing practices among the LA community across Australia and New Zealand. The LA SIG Committee is comprised of Hazel Jones, Casandra Colvin, Sakinah Alhadad and Linda Corrin. The focus of this group is on enabling practitioners to use Learning Analytics to inform their teaching practice with reference to Learning Design. It will complement the work being undertaken through the Society of Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) and associated groups such as the Australian Learning Analytics Summer Institute (ALASI) and various State Learning Analytics Working Groups.

Membership of the LA SIG is open to all, including non-ASCILITE members. To be kept up to date, complete this simple form. You can contact the LA SIG Committee via this email address: la-sig@ascilite.org.


Upcoming Webinars

Webinar: Responsible Learning Analytics: A Tentative Proposal

Date and Time: Wednesday 21 June at 4pm AEST.

Abstract: Implied in learning analytics as research focus and field of praxis, is the notion of “responsible learning analytics” – though it is certainly not a dominant theme. An overview of the social imaginary pertaining to learning analytics points to a range of topics, such as the huge potential in the collection, analysis and use of student data and emerging evidence of its use in a range of higher education contexts.

In the noisy scholarly, public and increasingly commercial spheres of claims and counter claims pertaining to a range of applications for learning analytics, there are also voices emphasising that we should not forget that learning analytics is about students and their learning. Often to the frustration of venture capitalist/commercial vendors of learning analytics software and systems, there are also scholars who ask uncomfortable questions such as the scope of student privacy and the need to move towards student-centred learning analytics. The range of ethical considerations in the collection, analysis and use of student data and increasingly, the moral fiduciary obligation arising from our collection and analysis of student data – are often uncomfortable reminders of unchartered fields of scholarly reflection and empirical research.

An etymology of the word ‘responsible’ points not only to the need to be answerable and accountable, but also to being response-able and the obligation to act. In this presentation, I propose that an answerable but also a response-able approach to learning analytics cut across the whole spectrum of the collection, analysis and use of student data. The fiduciary duty of higher education and the asymmetrical power relationships between higher education and students serve as basis for my exploration of accountability and response-ability in learning analytics. I will engage with a selection of issues in the collection, analysis and use of student data such as our beliefs regarding data and evidence; data quality, scope, and governance; student participation and the ethics of (not) knowing before concluding with a tentative proposal.

Presenter: Paul Prinsloo is a Research Professor in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in the College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa (Unisa). His academic background includes fields as diverse as theology, art history, business management, online learning, and religious studies. Paul is an established researcher and has published numerous articles in the fields of teaching and learning, student success in distance education contexts, learning analytics, and curriculum development. His current research focuses on the collection, analysis and use of student data in learning analytics, graduate supervision and digital identity.

Paul was born curious and in trouble. Nothing has changed since then. His blog is here and his Twitter alias is @14prinsp

Registration: You may register for this session here.  LA-SIG sessions are open to members and non-members.


Webinar: A review of five years of implementation and research in aligning learning design with learning analytics at the Open University UK

Date and time: Wednesday 20 September at 5pm AEST

Abstract: The Open University UK (OU) has been one of few institutions that have explicitly and systematically captured the designs for learning at a large scale. By applying advanced analytical techniques on large and fine-grained datasets, we have been unpacking the complexity of instructional practices, as well as providing empirical evidence of how learning designs influence student behaviour, satisfaction, and performance. This seminar will discuss the implementation of learning design at the OU in the last 5 years, and reviews empirical evidence from several studies that have linked learning design with learning analytics. Recommendations are put forward to support future adoptions of the learning design approach, and potential research trajectories.

Presenter: Bart Rienties is Professor of Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK. He is programme director Learning Analytics within IET and head of Data Wranglers, whereby he leads of group of learning analytics academics who conduct evidence-based research and sense making of Big Data at the OU. As educational psychologist, he conducts multi-disciplinary research on work-based and collaborative learning environments and focuses on the role of social interaction in learning, which is published in leading academic journals and books. His primary research interests are focussed on Learning Analytics, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and the role of motivation in learning. Furthermore, Bart is interested in broader internationalisation aspects of higher education. He has successfully led a range of institutional/national/European projects and received a range of awards for his educational innovation projects.

Registration: Registration for this session will open in September.  LA-SIG sessions are open to members and non-members.

We are also looking for suggestions for Australian speakers you would like to engage with so please send through any ideas of people and/or topics to the LA SIG Google Group.


Getting Involved

We also encourage anyone with an interest in LA to:

  • Share ideas, ask questions and participate in conversations via our LA SIG Google Group.
  • Be a part of our SIG events, webinars and workshops.
  • Use the LA resources and contacts.

We would also like to know what you would like to get from involvement in the SIG, so please let us know via the email address above of any ideas you may have for events, as well as suggested topics and speakers for our webinar series.


Learning Analytics Resources

The following are links to a range of resources and organisations in the LA field.

Society of Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR), incorporating:

Other LA initiatives and projects:

You will also find archives of the 2015 – 2016 LA-SIG award submissions here.

Institutional Members
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