LAK12: Summary

Here’s an organising summary of stuff from the Second International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, LAK12, held 29th April to 2nd May 2012 in Vancouver, BC.

Official resources

Doug Clow’s blog





Myles Danson’s blog

Twitter #lak12


LAK13 – in Leuven, Belgium, 8-12 April 2013

This work by Doug Clow is copyright but licenced under a Creative Commons BY Licence.
No further permission needed to reuse or remix (with attribution), but it’s nice to be notified if you do use it.


Notes from the Society of Learning Analytics Research Annual General Meeting, held after the LAK12 conference in Vancouver.

George Siemens welcomes everybody.

Looking for reviewers, conference. We are still a bit biased towards the male gender, looking to improve that balance.

For 2013, have set up a few goals, to knit together a wide, fragmented community. Informal discussions so far.

  • One to host monthly session to showcase learning analytics activities. Maybe bringing in Knewton, or interesting researcher in a related field. Build regular contact.
  • Formalising the legal structure, creating a transparent process that has a democratic model for who leads, and what, how decisions are made.
  • Regional events – SoLAR Storm. Contact through the Google Group, maybe a listserv instead.
  • Research lab, some students interested. Looking at about 5-6 students, maybe more. If you as researchers have interests in working with them, is an option.

Executive Committee is the people who are supposed to be doing things. Steering Committee is the people we connect with to get a sense of direction, advisory board; guidance around activities. Need to improve our relationship, clarify. Better quality information flows. Making it clearer – currently can’t trace decision-making process. Fine while small group; not scalable.

Funny Lass

Continue reading “SoLAR AGM”

LAK12: Weds morning

Liveblog notes from Wednesday morning plenary session at LAK12 – George Siemens’ keynote.

Convention Centre

(This photo is taken from more-or-less where the conference centre/hotel is, and I have a view of this from my room’s window. Except this morning it was drizzly and almost totally grey. Welcome, as they say, to Vancouver.)

Shane Dawson thanks Al Essa and Desire2Learn for sponsoring the conference dinner at the Aquarium. Invites everyone to the SoLAR AGM. Gives out SoLAR T-shirts as prizes for helping, tweeting, and so on. Showed visualisation of reference map from the papers at the conference – it’s interactive so you can explore it; will be on the LAK12 website presently.

Dragan Gasevic introduces George.

Continue reading “LAK12: Weds morning”

Learning from dolphin learning

The conference dinner for LAK12 was at the Vancouver Aquarium, in Stanley Park. The highlight of the evening was a dolphin show.


For me, it raised lots of interesting issues linked to themes emerging in the conference. Dolphins are legendarily clever, and I was reminded powerfully of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on relative intelligence:

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.

(Which also reminds me of how far we’ve come with inclusive language.)

Continue reading “Learning from dolphin learning”

LAK12: Tuesday plenary 7 – EDM

Liveblog notes from Tuesday’s closing plenary session 7 – Educational Data Mining – at LAK12.

Simon chairs – Ryan Baker sends apologies. Will segue from a short paper to a panel.

George Siemens and Ryan S.J.D. Baker
Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining: Towards Communication and Collaboration

Dalek egg ventral view

Paper didn’t make it in to the proceedings, is available here

Continue reading “LAK12: Tuesday plenary 7 – EDM”

LAK12 Keynote: Visual Analytics in Support of Education

Liveblog notes from the opening keynote on Tuesday at LAK12.

Shane Dawson welcomes everyone and outlines practical arrangements.

George Siemens talks about SoLAR. Last year, had a post-conference meeting. SoLAR is trying not to be prescriptive. SoLAR Flare – regional conferences, in different parts of the world, October 1-3rd is first at Purdue. Events planned in Australia and the UK. More of a practitioner emphasis. SoLAR Storm is a distributed research lab. There’s an advisory board. Then next layer is research leads. Third layer is doctoral students, postdocs, etc. Monthly meetings online. Connect up to an international network.

Simon Buckingham Shum updates on the Learning Analytics journal. ‘Learning Analytics: The International Journal of the Society for Learning Analytics Research’. Editors Simon, Phil Long, Dragan Gasevic. Triad of education, computation, and sense-making. Peer-reviewed, indexed, open access. Journal-conference synergy.

Dragan – in computation have lifecycle focused around conferences. Not the same in other communities. Not used to high bars to conference papers. Aim to innovate there, encourage educators to contribute to the journal, and those to be invited to the conference. To ensure balance, and avoid double-publishing.

Phil Long – new journal, want it to be credible and useful. Needs an impact factor. Also interested in open scholarship, want feedback and ideas. Journal will be open access. Interested in open publishing, sharing manuscripts and papers in draft, and community comment and discussion around that.

Simon – now thinking about inaugural issue, to be drawn from invited selection of papers at LAK11/12 plus other invited contributions.

Simon introduces the keynote speaker: Katy Börner, Prof at Indiana University. Energy in to outreach efforts as well as excellent research; model of transition from research to practice, and across disciplines.

Katy Börner: Visual Analytics in Support of Education

celebration of light 2007 - vancouver, canada, fireworks

Continue reading “LAK12 Keynote: Visual Analytics in Support of Education”