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Data & Learning: Preparing for the Future

Held on Thursday the 15th of March Dr. Rachel Ferguson explored the use of learning analytics and the role they may play in the future of learning at a public lecture given at Riverina TAFE, Wagga.

This event was open to all educators in the Wagga area – from K-12 through to Higher Education –  interested in using Learning Analytics to inform their practice.

The guest speaker was Dr Rebecca Ferguson, a senior lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at The Open University in the UK, and a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is an executive member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research, programme chair of LAK18, and a leading member of the international learning analytics community. Her work has been influential in shaping the field, supporting implementation across Europe, and promoting a focus on social learning analytics.

Rachel gave a presentation followed by an open Q&A session.

Overview of Rachels Talk:

Learning analytics involve the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, in order to understand and optimise learning and the environments in which it occurs. Since emerging as a distinct field in 2011, learning analytics has grown rapidly, and institutions around the world are already developing and deploying these new tools. However, it is not enough for us to develop analytics for our educational systems as they are now – we need to take into account how teaching and learning will take place in the future. The current fast pace of change means that if, in 2007, we had begun developing learning analytics for 2017, we might not have planned specifically for learning with and through social networks (Twitter was only a year old), with smartphones (the first iPhone was released in 2007), or learning at scale (the term MOOC was coined in 2008). This talk will examine ways in which learning analytics could develop in the future, highlighting issues that need to be taken into account.

Speakers

Dr Rebecca Ferguson

Senior Lecturer, The Open University, UK

Dr Rebecca Ferguson is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at The Open University in the UK, and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is an executive member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research, programme chair of LAK18, and a leading member of the international learning analytics community. Her work has been influential in shaping the field, supporting implementation across Europe, and promoting a focus on social learning analytics. She has been invited to lead events in this area on five continents, including several associated with her work as principal investigator on the European Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE) and on LAEP, a project that helped European policymakers to set out an agenda for high-quality and stimulating ways of learning and teaching through the use of learning analytics.

Rebecca is lead author on the Open University’s Innovating Pedagogy 2017 report. This highly cited series of high-profile annual reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment in order to guide educators and policy makers around the world. Her most recent book, Augmented Education, was published by Palgrave in Spring 2014.

Presentation Slides