Kickoff, CoT project


Our new research project “CoT” has just started! The project has received funding from RecerCaixa (see related UPF news item, RecerCaixa press). The kickoff meeting, with the members of the research team, was held yestarday at the Campus de Poblenou UPF (29/2/2016). The project will last until February 2019 (three years). Website will be ready soon and we will use the twitter hashtag #CoTprojectRC. Below the abstract of the project (també en català, y en español).


CoT: Communities of teaching as a data‐informed design science and contextualized practice

Abstract of the project: The research field of technologies for learning design deals with supporting teachers’ fundamental role of devising good arrangements for their students to learn. Sharing and collaboration around learning design practices between teachers, especially in the context of their educational centers, becomes a relevant mechanism for collectively improving teaching quality. The ultimate aim of the project is to empower teachers and educational centers as communities of teaching in which their members share the concern of being able to design the best possible learning activities for their students, learning from each other practices and considering the singularities of their context. To contribute towards this aim, the objective of the project focuses on providing teachers with a platform for data-informed learning design and studying the role that data analytics can play to support learning design processes in the context of educational communities. Data will include metrics of design activity within communities and metrics of engagement and achievement of learners when experiencing a learning design.

CAT Resum del projecte: La recerca que es farà en el projecte CoT, “comunitats d’ensenyament com a ciència de disseny informada amb dades i pràctica contextualitzada” persegueix millorar la manera en què els professors treballen amb altres professors, dissenyen les millors activitats possibles perquè els seus estudiants aprenguin i les implementen fent servir tecnologies de la informació i les comunicacions. Per aconseguir aquest objectiu, el projecte contribuirà amb tecnologies que permetin als centres educatius treballar en comunitat, fer servir sistemàticament processos de disseny per a la creació d’activitats innovadores, documentar la pràctica docent i reflexionar sobre el seu impacte per a millorar-la. Especial èmfasi de la recerca recaurà en entendre el paper d’analítiques de dades per recolzar els processes de disseny, incloent-hi dades d’accions de disseny per part dels professors i d’impacte en els estudiants.

ES Resumen del proyecto: La investigación que se hará en el proyecto CoT “comunidades de docencia como ciencia de diseño informada con datos y práctica contextualizada” persigue mejorar la manera en que los profesores trabajan con otros profesores, diseñan las mejores actividades posibles para que sus estudiantes aprendan y las implementen utilizando tecnologías de la información y las comunicaciones. Para conseguir este objetivo, el proyecto contribuirá con tecnologías que permitan a los centros educativos trabajar en comunidad, utilizando sistemáticamente procesos de diseño para la creación de actividades innovadoras, documentando la práctica docente y reflexionando sobre su impacto hacia la mejora. La investigación hará especial énfasis en estudiar el papel de las analíticas de aprendizaje para apoyar los procesos de diseño, incluyendo datos de acciones de diseño por parte de los profesores y de impacto con sus estudiantes.

Cross-LAK 2016: International Workshop on Learning Analytics Across Physical and Digital Spaces *Call for Papers*



In conjunction with LAK 2016 at the University of Edinburgh | April 25-29, 2016 http://lak16.solaresearch.org/

*Important Dates*
Submission Deadline: January 24, 2016 (5pm PDT) –> Extended January 31st, 2016
Notification to Authors: February 19, 2016
Camera-Ready Papers: April 3, 2016 (5pm PDT)
Workshop: April 25-29, 2016 (TBC)

*Workshop Theme*
The exploration of how students interact with digital resources in physical spaces in the context of blended learning scenarios is gaining relevance within the Learning Analytics community.  The challenge is to find the best approaches that can be applied to automatically capture traces of students’ activity, and understand how learning analytics techniques can be used in heterogeneous contexts. This workshop aims to articulate the community of researchers, interested in analytics for ubiquitous, mobile and/or face-to-face learning. The workshop will provide a platform to review and discuss challenges and opportunities for integrating and coordinating analytic techniques to support learning across digital and physical spaces. The goals of the workshop are to share approaches and identify a set of guidelines to design and connect Learning Analytics solutions according to the pedagogical needs and contextual constraints of practitioners.

The workshop will focus on (but is not limited to)  the following four themes:

>>> 1- Learning analytics across digital spaces.
Examples of application of learning analytics in educational settings where multiple digital technologies (digital spaces, learning environments, tools such as  e-books, learning management systems, e-portfolio systems, social network platforms, intelligent tutoring systems, etc), connected or disconnected, are used to facilitate different learning activities.

>>> 2- Learning analytics bridging physical and digital spaces.
Examples of application of learning analytics in educational settings with an significant face-to-face component (e.g. in the classroom, computer lab, collocated experimental settings, etc), a blend of collocated face-to-face and remote learning activities, or experimental approaches to gather collaborative student’s data while interacting with various systems.

>>> 3- Mobile and ubiquitous learning analytics.
Examples of application of learning analytics in ubiquitous educational settings with an important component of student’s mobility and where the learning activity spans across various physical and digital spaces.

>>> 4- Data integration of heterogeneous learning data sources.
Examples of learning analytics (conceptual and/or technological) solutions to collect, gather and synchronise student’s activity data coming from varied heterogeneous data sources.

We welcome papers under two categories:
>>>Short papers (4 pages). Short papers consist of authors describing their research in the area of learning analytics across physical and digital spaces, aligned to at least one of the four themes of the workshop. Authors of successful submissions will give a brief firehose presentation and present a poster at the poster session during the workshop.

>>>Panel papers (2-4 pages). Panel papers explain a unique perspective on the field that the author would like to contribute, aligned to one or all the themes of the workshop. Authors of successful submissions will participate in one of panels held during the workshop.

Participation Requirements: All workshop participants are encouraged to submit at least one paper under any of these two categories. There is no restriction on the number of papers submitted by the same author. The submission of a paper is not compulsory.

Contributions must be submitted through the EasyChair submission system. All submissions should be formatted as per the ACM formatting guidelines. Please use the formatting instructions and a link to the templates provided in the workshop website.

If you have any further questions, we encourage you to contact the organisers at <roberto.martinez-maldonado [at] uts.edu.au, davinia.hernandez [at] upf.edu>.

*Organising Committee*
Roberto Martinez-Maldonado (University of Technology Sydney, Australia)
Davinia Hernandez-Leo (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain)
Abelardo Pardo (The University of Sydney, Australia)
Dan Suthers (University of Hawaii, USA)
Kirsty Kitto (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Sven Charleer (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Naif Aljohani (King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia)
Hiroaki Ogata (Kyushu University, Japan)

MiríadaX is the main Spanish MOOC provider, promoted by Telefónica, Universia and Banco Santander. MiríadaX offers MOOCs since 2013, most of them in Spanish, and few in Portuguese and English. In the context of the Cátedra Telefónica-UPF, we have analyzed MiríadaX platform data up to the end of 2014, including data form 144 courses and 191,608 participants.

Part of the analysis, focused on understanding the behaviour of university students’ participation in MOOCs,  will be presented at the eMOOCs conference in March 2016.

Albó, L., Hernández-Leo, D., Oliver, M. (2016) Are higher education students registering and participating in MOOCs? The case of MiríadaX. EMOOCs 2016 conference, Graz, Austria.

Abstract: Most MOOCs offer open learning opportunities at Higher Education (HE) level. However, it is still unclear how HE students are taking this type of course. This study focuses on the profile of HE students participating in MOOCs, their registration, preferred topics and completion patterns and how they compare to other types of participants. The paper presents a descriptive analysis of the MiríadaX platform data up to the end of 2014, including an analysis of 144 courses and 191,608 participants. Results indicate that current HE students, who are mostly Latin American and Spanish males interested in technology subjects,register for and complete lower numbers of MOOCs than participants who have already completed their HE studies. HE students older than standard ages have a significant presence in MOOCs and have higher numbers of MOOC registrations and completitions.

Conclusions of the study, in brief, include:

– The majority of university students involved in MiríadaX MOOCs are male (60.70%) in a range of 18-24. Interestingly enough, there is an important number of HE students participating in MOOCs with ages as from 24 (40%). Most HE students are from Latin American countries (57.5%) and Spain (41.01%).

  • University students register for on average of 3.56 courses completing only 0.55 courses (similar pattern when comparing men and women).
  • University students are taking MOOCs following a pattern of registration and completion of MOOCs in between participants without HE studies (lower numbers) and with HE studies completed (higher numbers).
  • Within the collective of university students, those more active are older than 24, representing profiles of stronger intrinsic motivation to learn or to improve their professional competences.
  • MOOCs in the technological science subject area, followed by psychology and economics, show higher percentages of registrations for all types of participants. In the physics subject area, university students represent the highest percentage of types of participants registered.

One interpretation of results is that MOOCs are generally perceived as useful lifelong learning opportunities and not that much as a resource (comparable e.g. to books) that can support the HE curriculum. The particular result for the case of physics subject may be explained by a use of these MOOCs as remedial (level O) courses for freshmen at universities. The recent initiatives on the use of MOOCs to support blended educational approaches may influence the future evolution of the trends identified in this paper.

A more extensive study is presented in a Cátedra Telefónica-UPF report (in Spanish). The report cover multiple aspects and all types of participants but it does not include a deep focus on a particular profile of participants (as in the previous paper). It provides and analysis of the social profile of individuals registering in MiríadaX courses, demand of courses by topic, and an analysis of drop-out rates.

Oliver, M.; Hernández-Leo, D.; Albó, L. (2015). MOOCs en España. Análisis de la demanda. Cuaderno de la Cátedra Telefónica-UPF “Social Innovation in Education”. Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Disponible online http://repositori.upf.edu/handle/10230/25400

Recent paper published!

Manatunga, K., Hernández-Leo, D.(2015) Has research on collaborative learning technologies addressed massiveness?Educational Technology & Society, 18(4), 357-370.

Abstract: There is a growing interest in understanding to what extent innovative educational technologies can be used to support massive courses. Collaboration is one of the main desired elements in massive learning actions involving large communities of participants. Accumulated research in collaborative learning technologies has proposed and evaluated multiple models and implementation tools that engage learners in knowledge-intensive social interactions fostering fruitful learning. However, it is unclear to what extent these technologies have been designed to support large-scale learning scenarios involving arguably massive participation. This paper contributes with a literature review that aims at providing an answer to this question as well as offering insights about the context of use, characteristics of the technologies, and the types of activities and collaboration mechanisms supported. The main results point out that till 2013 the level of massiveness considered in top scientific journal papers on collaborative learning technologies was low, the scenarios studied were predominantly contextualized in co-located higher education settings using Learning Management Systems, the most common activities considered were open and structured discussion, followed by peer assessment and collaborative writing, and the most broadly used mechanism to foster fruitful collaboration was group formation following diverse policies.

More info also at http://gti.upf.edu/has-research-on-collaborative-learning-technologies-addressed-massiveness/


I’m pleased to share:

the proceedings of the workshop on Learning Design I co-organized this year at the European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL2015), in Toledo;

and the slides Laia Albò used to present our study on the perspective of Catalan university professors around blended learning approaches related to MOOCs:

I also participated in a panel on institutional challenges around MOOCs and HybridEducation.

In addition to co-organizing and participating in EC-TEL2015 workshops, I’ve chaired the session on MOOCs and co-authored the following papers that have been presented in the conference.

One of the papers is a collaboration with Muriel Garreta, Yishay Mor and Peter Sloep in the context of the HandOnICT project where ILDE (Integrated Learning Design Environment, developed in the METIS project) was used as the learning design environment for teacher training in the context of a project-based MOOC.

The other paper is a collaboration with colleagues from Universidad del Cauca, in Colombia, who visited us for a short research stay at UPF in Barcelona last year. The collaboration focused on the integration of wearable devices and smart multi-screen displays to support seamless classroom activities.

Very nice paper led by my great former PhD student, Patricia Santos, now doing her Postdoc with John Cook at the University of the West of England. The paper is part of a just published Educational Technology & Society special issue on “Technology Supported Assessment in Formal and Informal Learning”.

Santos, P., Cook, J., Hernández-Leo, D., (2015) m-AssIST: Interaction and Scaffolding matters in authentic assessment, Educational Technology & Society, 18(2), 33-45.

Authentic assessment is important in formal and informal learning. Technology has the potential to be used to support the assessment of higher order skills particularly with respect to real life tasks. In particular, the use of mobile devices allows the learner to increase her interactions with physical objects, various environments (indoors and outdoors spaces), augmented digital information and with peers. Those interactions can be monitored and automatically assessed in a way that is similar to traditional objective tests. However, in order to facilitate a meaningful interaction with formative purposes, we propose that the assessment process can be assisted through scaffolding mechanisms that transform the mobile system into a ‘more capable peer’. In this context, this paper presents the m-AssIST model which captures the necessary emergent properties to design and analyse m-assessment activities. The model is used to analyse the benefits and limitations of existing m-test based systems. This paper discusses the importance of meaningful interactions, and the provision of scaffolding mechanisms to support formative and authentic assessment.

This year EC-TEL will include a number of interesting workshops!

I co-organize a workshop on “Design for learning in practice” as part of EC-TEL 2015 (Toledo, Sep. 18). Call for paper is available here!

The Design for Learning in Practice workshop will explore the current and prospective practices of educators as learning designers. Starting from methods, processes, tools and resources that support design for learning, the workshop aims to focus on the competencies, training, certification and institutional frameworks to raise awareness about as well as facilitate and enhance the design of practices of educators. Teacher training and teacher communities will also be addressed since they are instrumental in widening the impact of design for learning in education.

As PC member and contributor, I’m also pleased to support the “MOOC-based Models for Hybrid Pedagogies” and the “Facing the challenges of assessing 21st century skills in the newly emerging educational ecosystems” workshops.

The complete list of workshops is at the EC-TEL2015 website.


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