EUROCALL 2014

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Understanding (in)formal learning and social interactions: from principles to practices in learning analytics

Learning analytics provide institutions with opportunities to support student progression and to enable personalised, rich learning. With the increased availability of large datasets, powerful analytics engines, and skilfully designed visualisations of analytics results, institutions may be able to use the experience of the past to create supportive, insightful models of primary (and perhaps real-time) learning processes. While the opportunities and drawbacks of “Big Data” in the media might have been a bit over exaggerated, current research indicate several interesting but complex challenges. Building on current research findings, at EUROCALL2014 I will address the following issues:
• If 80% of students learn more from people outside their “classroom”, how can we encourage (in)formal learning? And how would we capture informal learning in learning analytics.
• Is data from Virtual Learning Environment systems (e.g., Blackboard, Moodle) useful for learning (analytics)? What else should we focus on to improve our understandings of social interaction?
• How can we make learning more personalised, adaptive and meaningful, and what are the implications for CALL?

Author(s):

Bart Rienties    
Institute of Educational Technology
Open University UK

Bart Rienties is Reader in Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK. The Open University defines its mission as "open to people, places, methods and ideas". It promotes educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential. Currently, 240.000 students study at the Open University, making it the largest university in Europe. Within this context, Bart 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 successfully led a range of institutional/national/European projects and received several awards for his educational innovation projects.

 

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