LSAC 2019 and Big data Hackathon – Report Back
I had the pleasure of participating in the LSCA 2019 (https://lsac2019.loria.fr) whose focus was on Learning Analytics (LA) interactions with community and ethics. LSAC is the third such event, twice in Amsterdam and now in Nancy in France.
The conference brought together researchers from a number of disciplines (e.g. education, artificial intelligence, computer science, management, psychology, ergonomics, economics, IT security, data governance…), practitioners, students, policy makers and companies to share and discuss the latest research insights related to Learning Analytics. The conference further provided a platform for stakeholders to engage in critical conversations about current trends and policy requirements. The event was well organized and a chance to meet my equals mostly including from Holland, France, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Brazil and eastern Europe. It came as no surprise that the French at the National policy level are building structures. such as a just launched ethical advisory board for AI in Education and a standards and efficiency effort, LOLA. As there are large scale education platforms with many hundreds of thousands of users with LA/AI embedded LA is mainstream and hidden in plain sight. The field is being deployed rapidly. Let’s hope the Dutch ministry of Education is keeping track and reacting to the now visible European acceleration in its own accelerated focus.
Dutch orientated research on subjects such as policy frameworks, recommendation systems for OER material for skills gaps were enjoyed by an International audience. The second day keynote speaker was Professor Han van der Maas. He delivered keen insights into how to design and then implement adaptive training at large scale. With 30 research papers and four theses generated from the ethical use of student data from Rekentuin many valuable research insights have already been delivered.
The two-day event was followed by a two-day competition to build meaningful services on example datasets from three educational tools (NOMAD,EOLE,Mathador) used in France and French speaking countries at high scale. As is the norm with Big data, finding the balance with realistic and immediately actionable was a delightful challenge for the 30 participants distributed over 4 teams.
I was involved in a team that worked on anonymized data from Mathador. After signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement to project the distribution of the data source I had the distinct pleasure of aggregating the dataset and working with my team to generate an initial workflow and mockup of an intervention dashboard for teachers.
After much brainstorming and dimensional reduction, we collectively concluded that there were clear signals in the data to trigger the interventions and recommendations. We are looking forward to the platform owners turning our insights into further enhancements.
If you are professional interested in LA then please consider supporting the SIG’s core team and volunteer some of your time to help a wider Dutch community.
Until the next event.