The 1st International Conference Learning Analytics & Knowledge will be held February 27-March 1, 2011 in Banff, Alberta. This is an extremely exciting development, reflecting what in many people’s view is going to be a key dimension to future learning environments, with a strong Open U. presence in the steering committee (join the Learning Analytics Google Group).
From the conference announcement:
The growth of data surpasses the ability of organizations to make sense of it. This concern is particularly pronounced in relation to knowledge, teaching, and learning. Learning institutions and corporations make little use of the data learners “throw off” in the process of accessing learning materials, interacting with educators and peers, and creating new content. In an age where educational institutions are under growing pressure to reduce costs and increase efficiency, analytics promises to be an important lens through which to view and plan for change at course and institutions levels. Corporations face pressure for increased competitiveness and productivity, a challenge that requires important contributions in organizational capacity building from work place and informal learning. Learning analytics can play a role in highlighting the development of employees through their learning activities.
In enterprise settings, information flow and social interactions can yield novel insights into organizational effectiveness and capacity to address new challenges or adapt rapidly when unanticipated event arise.
Thirdly, as we witness the expansion of learning and knowledge work beyond formal institutional boundaries, myriad platforms in the cloud hosting the activity of individuals will be providing/exchanging analytics.
Advances in knowledge modeling and representation, the semantic web, data mining, analytics, and open data form a foundation for new models of knowledge development and analysis. The technical complexity of this nascent field is paralleled by a transition within the full spectrum of learning (education, work place learning, informal learning) to social, networked learning. These technical, pedagogical, and social domains must be brought into dialogue with each other to ensure that interventions and organizational systems serve the needs of all stakeholders.
Learning Analytics 2011 will focus on integrating the technical and the social/pedagogical dimensions of learning analytics.
Learning analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs