Learning Analytics training workshop v1

Last week I joined 90 PhD students and about a dozen other academic tutors in a converted monastery in the hills above Girona, for the ICO 2012 Fall School. This brings together students from across Europe primarily, to present and discuss their research into education, in some cases involving learning technologies.

I piloted a new Learning Analytics workshop over two days with 20 students, which introduced the topic, and then got participants engaged with hands-on design exercises. This was originally going to be run with Maarten de Laat but unfortunately he couldn’t make it, but fed in some good ideas when we were planning.

The slides show the introductory tutorial, and the exercises. Almost all students were not technologists, but conducting research in educational contexts, often in schools, so there was no expertise assumed on that front.

The schedule ran as follows:
See assignment at end
Day 1
8.45 Intros and 1-line sentence: For me, learning analytics means…
9-10.45 Overview lecture and discussion
10.45 Break
11.15 Work alone for 15mins on an idea for analytics related to your work – think about the analytics lifecycle and ecosystem
11.30 Draw your LA systems for breakout group – what issues emerge?
12.30 Plenary feedback
1.00 Lunch
Day 2
8.45 Affinity Mapping with stickies -> thematic analytics teams
9.25 Find a location and develop analytics cycle + dashboard mockup.
10.30 Analytics report back
10.45 Break
11.15 Report back cont/d
12.00 Go off and take LAnoirblanc photos + write story/comments
12.30 Photos + storytelling
1.00 Wrap up and Lunch
The feedback survey indicates that the pace, detail, coverage and mix of formats were right, which is always encouraging. There were individual requests for more case studies, more on intervention based on analytics, and more on technology and actual tools, but the overall balance for a first encounter with learning analytics, for a general audience covering many educational spheres, seems about right.
Thanks to Doug Clow for his nice simple graphic on the analytics cycle, which as you can see, proved to be a helpful anchor for students to reflect on how their own research might be viewed through an analytics lens, were the appropriate infrastructure in place. We started with the simple diagram on Day 1 when participants reflected on their own research projects, which I then elaborated for the Day 2 teams to work on:
Anyone is welcome to take these materials and hopefully improve them. Do let me know how it goes!
Please post a summary to the ICO Canvas learning environment on the page ‘Files’:

  1. Your interest in this workshop and what you would like to get out of it
  2. 1 paragraph intro to your PhD (add links if you want for details
  3. How might this relate to Learning Analytics?   Think about the learning processes you would like to track and visualize in some way, and provide a description of the learning setting, tools and environments
  • area of learning: Education (prim, sec, HE), professional learning, lifelong learning, societal learning
  • personal +/or social learning?
  • subject related?
  • specific learning tasks?


Long, P. and Siemens, G. (2011). Penetrating the Fog: Analytics in Learning and Education, EDUCAUSE Review, Volume 46, Number 5, September/October 2011. http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/penetrating-fog-analytics-learning-and-education

Brown, M., Learning Analytics: Moving from Concept to Practice. EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Briefing, 2012. http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/learning-analytics-moving-concept-practice

Buckingham Shum, S. and Ferguson, R., Social Learning Analytics. Educational Technology & Society (Special Issue on Learning & Knowledge Analytics, Eds. G. Siemens & D. Gašević), 15, 3, (2012), 3-26. http://www.ifets.info Open Access Eprint: http://oro.open.ac.uk/34092


Maarten de Laat & Bieke Schreurs (2012). Professional Development Networks: A Case for Learning Analytics in the Workplace: http://www.open.ou.nl/rslmlt/abs_delaat.pdf


Argunaut Moderators Interface: http://www.open.ou.nl/rslmlt/Argunaut_MI%20description.pdf

De Liddo, A., Buckingham Shum, S., Quinto, I., Bachler, M. and Cannavacciuolo, L., Discourse-Centric Learning Analytics. In: Proc. 1st International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (Banff, CA, 27 Feb-1 Mar, 2011). ACM: New York. pp.22-33. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2090116.2090120 Open Access Eprint: http://oro.open.ac.uk/25829


Buckingham Shum, S. and Deakin Crick, R., Learning Dispositions and Transferable Competencies: Pedagogy, Modelling and Learning Analytics. In: Proc. 2nd International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (Vancouver, 29 Apr-2 May, 2012). ACM: New York. pp.92-101. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2330601.2330629 Open Access Eprint: http://oro.open.ac.uk/32823

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