LAK13: Monday morning (discourse-centric learning analytics)

Liveblog notes from the first workshop at LAK13.

1st International Workshop on Discourse-Centric Learning Analytics

Programme and papers.

Shared wiki-like workspace at:


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University of Autocomplete

With tuition fees so high, it’s never been more important to give prospective students good information about university. This report is the result of a highly sophisticated social media sentiment mining and semantic content analysis, providing summary overviews. Or, in other words, I put “X is” and “X are” in to Google and picked the things that seemed most helpful from the autocomplete list that popped up. (Previous related work explored the geography of the UK, and human nature. It’s also been used as a source of found poetry.)


Here, for the first time, is Autocomplete University: a comprehensive exploration of the collective Internet view of the university is all its component parts. Universities did reasonably well when this methodology was applied to US States. Sadly, things don’t look quite so rosy for universities themselves. The study found: “The academy is almost here. Academics are jerks.”. There’s a mixed picture for students: “undergraduates are miserable”, but on the other hand “graduates are prepared for the world of work”. Some highlights:

  • Classics is a good degree. Classicists are smart.
  • Biology is destiny. Biologists create zombie cells. Genetics is not an excuse.
  • Psychology is bullshit. Psychologists are least likely to suggest that.
  • Linguistics is hard. Linguists are hot.
  • Dentistry is a bad career. Dentists are sadists.
  • Librarians are hiding something: Library is no longer working.
  • VCs are liars. VCs are not your friends.
  • Research is the door to tomorrow. Door is stuck.
  • Web pages are not responding. Forums are full of idiots. Instant messaging is available only from AOL.

Without further ado, here is the complete report.

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