I’m Professor of Learning Informatics at the University of Technology Sydney, where I direct the Connected Intelligence Centre (CIC). I have a career-long fascination with making thinking visible using software.

I often share pre-publication thoughts here, and on Learning Emergence and Medium. I am proud to be a Fellow of the RSA.

My academic journey has involved various mixes of User Modelling, Hypertext, Organisational Memory, Knowledge Management, Semantic Publishing and Learning Technology, all with a fascination in making thinking visible as networks of ideas and arguments. Around 2010 I became active in the emerging field of Learning Analytics. I’m particularly interested in whether analytics offer new ways to provide rapid feedback on learner qualities that have always been important — but which have until now been hard to track and visualise in a timely way. These include your ability to make analytical thinking or personal reflection clearly visible in your writing or online deliberation; your social capital as reflected in your learning networks; your dispositions towards your learning.

The overall goal is to better equip citizens to cope with unprecedented complexity and transdisciplinarity — the only things we can be sure the future holds. Moreover, just as data and algorithms increasingly pervade societal life, in educational contexts Learning Analytics set up interesting new dilemmas regarding who gets to design analytics, who gets to see what data, how and when. . . in short, what shape will Learning Analytics take as a professional discipline that designs and deploys analytics in ethical ways, and knows how to hold such systems to rigorous account?

Background: I bring a human-centred computing perspective to technology. I embarked with a degree in Psychology (York, 1987), when I got interested in HCI thanks to Andrew Monk. This was followed by a Masters in Ergonomics (UCL, 1988) under John Long, plus a dissertation with Phil Barnard developing an expert system for cognitive modelling in HCI, before returning to York for a deep PhD dive 1988-91 into HCI and Design Rationale (supervised by Nick Hammond, and Allan MacLean at Rank Xerox EuroPARC). I love developing research-informed software tools that ‘normal people’ choose to use for real work.

I’m a co-founder of the Society for Learning Analytics ResearchCompendium Institute, Learning Emergence and Global Sensemaking networks. I was Co-Founder and General Editor of the Journal of Interactive Media in Education, one of the early open access, web-native, multimedia e-journals exploring new models of scholarly discourse (1996-2004). I was one of the Investigators on the OpenLearn programme which published thousands of hours of Open University courses as Creative Commons open educational resources, and was Director of the OU’s SocialLearn project (2009), and associated research (2010-12), before joining the OU team that helped launch the FutureLearn MOOC platform, advising on analytics.

In a schools (K-12) context I was Chair of Governors at Bushfield School, a Governor at Radcliffe School. My projects have been funded by national research councils, industry and philanthropic foundations. All of my work is indebted to some very special, long term collaborations over the years.

Elsewhere… I’m a lifelong learner husband to Jackie, and dad to Tom, Jas and Jo. I was a moderate tennis player and university darts champion many moons ago, I still play a drumkit and cajon from time to time, when in the UK was an annual pilgrim to Greenbelt Festival, and a founding member of the Visions community, a node in the 1990s alt.worship movement. The way to my heart is very simple: Thai and Tiramisu. 

I switched to WordPress in July 2008. 1996-2007 news stories are on my original news site.

2nd Int. Conf. Learning Analytics & Knowledge
2nd Int. Conf. on the Pragmatic Web

5 Responses to “Welcome!”

  1. […] Simon Buckingham Shum is a Senior Lecturer in the OUs Knowledge Media Institute, was previously the director for the OUs ambitious SocialLearn project and is currently working on trying to build collective intelligence systems around the ‘open education resources’ movement. […]

  2. […] Simon Buckingham Shum provided mutually overlapping categories for the workshop […]

  3. […] zu machen. Die Präsentation von Simon Buckingham Shum hat hier zumindest mir weitergeholfen. Simon Buckingham Shum arbeitet am Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute und ist auch im Programm-Komitee der […]

  4. […] very excellent Simon Buckingham Shum is convening a panel on educational data science at the LAK 2013 conference in Leuven and I’m […]

  5. […] Simon Buckingham Shum – Professor of Learning Informatics, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, Milton […]