Cross-LAK 2017: 2nd International Workshop on Learning Analytics Across Physical and Digital Spaces

*Call for Papers*



In conjunction with LAK 2017 at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada | March 13-17, 2017 http://lak17.solaresearch.org/

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: Jan. 10, 2017
Notification to Authors: Feb 10, 2017
Camera-Ready Papers: March 1, 2017
Workshop: April 13 or 14, 2017

Workshop Theme

Student’s learning happens where the learner is rather than being constrained to a single physical or digital environment. Educational research has revealed the pedagogical benefits of letting students experience different types of content, “real world” challenges, and physical and social interactions with educators or other learners. Students commonly work outside the boundaries of the institutional learning system(s). They may interact face-to-face, use other educational tools or even use tools that were not specifically designed to serve in learning contexts. Teachers may want students to use not only the tools offered by the institution, but also other tools that are more suitable to the context and subject matter.

Pervasive and mobile technologies can be used to allow learners to get remote access to educational resources from different physical spaces (e.g. ubiquitous/mobile learning support) or to enrich their learning experiences in the classroom in ways that were not previously possible (e.g. face-to-face/blended learning support). This is creating new possibilities for learning analytics to provide continued support or a more holistic view about learning, moving beyond desktop-based learning resources. An overarching concern is how to integrate analytics across these different spaces and tools in a coordinated way. In short, there is an increasing interest in providing support for students’ learning across physical and digital spaces, and the means to achieve this are more readily available.

We invite invite contributions to the Workshop on Learning Analytics Across Physical and Digital Spaces Research. Contributions should relate to the design and study of learning analytics innovations and solutions, including but not limited to any of the following themes:

    >>>Support Across Multiple Digital Spaces: Studies of novel analytics approaches and systems that span across multiple digital learning tools (including mining, modelling or visualising datasets that integrate logs from multiple learning tools);

    >>>Bridging the Physical and Digital Realms: Design and study of learning situations that include collocated settings and/or the use of online (remote access) tools  (e.g. including ‘everyday’ settings, collocated collaboration situations, multi-device ecologies or blended learning cases);

    >>>Data Integration of Heterogeneous Learning Data Sources: Discussion of methodologies and theoretical approaches, and their technical solutions, to integrate learning activity logs from multiple sources of learner’s data (including technical but also non-technical issues such as ethics, orchestration or data management).


Submissions; we welcome papers under two categories:

    >>>Short papers (5 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.

    >>>Position papers (2-5 pages). Position 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 panel to be 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.

Formatting: Contributions must be submitted through the EasyChair submission system. Please use the formatting instructions and the template provided in the workshop website.


The expected outcomes of the workshop are the following:  

    >>>Consolidating the Cross-LAK Community. This workshop will build on the design space and guidelines formulated in the first edition of Cross-LAK [8] in order to consolidate the synergy between researchers and propose further steps as a community.

    >>>Provide a forum to ignite collaboration. The workshop will bring together the sub-communities within the learning sciences, educational technology, and LAK with the goal of contributing with their expertise in identifying the major issues to be tackled in the area, generating new ideas for future research and sparking on each other in ways that can lead to future collaboration within the LAK community.

    >>>Work towards a special issue on Cross-LAK themes. Proceedings of research papers which will be produced and selected papers will be invited to be submitted in full to a special issue (SI) on Cross-LAK in an indexed journal so other members of the LAK community can benefit and further contribute to the design space.

Organising Committee

Roberto Martinez-Maldonado (University of Technology Sydney, Australia)
Davinia Hernandez-Leo (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain)
Abelardo Pardo (The University of Sydney, Australia)
Hiroaki Ogata (Kyushu University, Japan)

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>.


I’ve been in charge of a session on Final degree /master projects with a professional orientation framed in the context of Jornadas REDU (Red de Docencia Universitaria) 2016 (twitter: @REDU). I’ve really enjoyed the fruitful discussions; many inspiring ideas shared and important challenges identified! It was gratifying for me to see how much Spanish universities have advanced since 2011-2012, when we did a study around good practices in Final degree projects. The papers accepted for discussion at Jornadas REDU will be available very soon in the jornadas website.


Open PhD Fellowships at the DTIC, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
within the INPhINIT “la Caixa” Marie Curie Fellowships Programme.

The DTIC as a “Maria de Maeztu Centre of Excellence” is a hosting institution within the INPhINIT “la Caixa” Fellowships Programme. One of the proposed topics for the fellowships is:

Connecting Learning Analytics with Learning Design


The learning design field has produced computer tools to assist teachers in the creation of pedagogically-sound learning environments, for instance by providing patterns of good educational practices or by supporting sharing and co-creation within teaching communities. This project will advance the state of the art in this domain by researching how data can play a key role in a new generation of tools for evidence-based learning design. During recent years, analytics and data mining techniques have been used to extract actionable information from large data quantities in a variety of scientific fields. The areas of learning analytics and educational data science have emerged to explore how this data can be used to increase the understanding and quality of learning experiences. The learning analytics field has undergone a fast expansion and the use of data is now being considered for assisting in aspects such as students’ retention. Recent reflections of the use of data in learning environments shows an increasingly complex landscape influenced by multiple disciplines and fields, including learning design. Connecting learning analytics and learning design amounts to assuming the existence of comprehensive data capturing and analysis mechanisms at various levels to inform and influence the learning experience, the design process, and the community of authors that create these designs.

This research project will be supervised by Dr. Hernández-Leo, a permanent faculty member in the Group of Interactive Technologies (GTI) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. The GTI , focuses on human aspects and technology and has a lab focused on technologies for education. The educational technologies lab, led by Dr. Hernández-Leo, has currently ten members and their research lies at the intersection of network and computer applications, human-computer interaction and learning sciences. They have extensive experience in learning design technologies (e.g., Collage, LdShake, ILDE) and are currently involved in learning analytics projects.

The PhD position is offered to a highly motivated researcher, to join our team in interdisciplinary learning technologies research. The successful candidate should have an excellent undergraduate and master academic record. Candidates should have a strong desire to see their technological work applied in solving impactful problems in the context of education. The successful candidate should also have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Evidence of good programming and data analysis skills as well as excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills are desirable. Please contact Davinia Hernández-Leo at davinia.hernandez@upf.edu for any question or further information needed.


  • 3-year contract
  • €34,800 gross annual salary + €3,564 annual additional funding
  • Award of €7,500 for the PhD fellow in case he/she presented the thesis within a period of 3.5 years
  • Additional training in transversal skills: technology transfer, entrepreneurship, professional development.
  • Research stays in academia and industry.   
  • Participation in networking and outreach activities.
  • Deadline for incorporation of candidates: September/October 2017..


Fellowship eligibility:

  • Be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Short stays such as holidays will not be taken into account.
  • Have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).

PhD program admission

  • Accredited undergraduate degree (Bachelor degree or recognised equivalent degree from an accredited Higher Education Institution).  
  • Accredited graduate/master’s degree (equivalent to a Spanish Master Universitario/Oficial, Master’s of Research…. ) which enables them to access a Phd programme in their home country.
  • Total of 300 ECTS credits, 60 of those have to correspond to an official graduate, research oriented, master’s programme.

Selection criteria


  • Academic records and CV (50%).
  • Motivation and goals declaration (30%): originality, innovation, impact and link with the selected Research Centre.
  • Recommendation letters (20%).


  • Potential (40%), motivation and impact (20%), CV (30%).

Important dates

  • Website open for applications: November 7th, 2016.
  • Application deadline: February 2nd, 2017.


How to apply

Applications are managed through the program website, More information about the procedure: www.inphinitlacaixa.org

For additional information on the PhD program: phd.dtic@upf.edu

For additional information on the topic: davinia.hernandez@upf.edu


The UPF DTIC PhD program offers advanced training in a broad range of topics in the field of Information and Communication Technologies.

This is an innovative program, unique in Catalonia and Spain in terms of its content, which aims to provide a bridge between various disciplines in this field. The DTIC PhD program has been growing steadily and currently hosts about 130 PhD students and 40 faculty and tenure-track professors who can supervise a PhD thesis. The program received a Mention of Excellence award from the Ministry of Science and Innovation in 2011.

The DTIC department consistently ranks among the top computer science departments in Spain (e.g. the only computer science department from an Spanish university that has even been included in the top 100 of the Shanghai Ranking). The DTIC’s research activities are organized around 15 groups pursuing a wide range of topics that include networking, wireless communications, multimedia, image and music processing, medical imaging, interactive technologies, learning technologies, artificial intelligence, data mining, and computational neuroscience, among others.

The UPF university was awarded in 2010 the distinction of International Excellence Campus by the Spanish Ministry of Education and it is widely considered to be one of the best universities in Spain (e.g. is the top Spanish university according to 2013 Times Higher Education Ranking).

The UPF is located in Barcelona. Its excellent location on the shores of the Mediterranean, its gentle climate, its open, cosmopolitan character, its gastronomy and architecture make Barcelona an extraordinary place to live. The DTIC is sited in UPF’s Communication Campus, which was opened in 2009 and is located within the vibrant 22@ technological district of Barcelona.

Kalpani Manathunga and Konstantinos Michos, PhD students in our learning technologies team at UPF, attended the in the 11th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL2016) held in Lyon, France from 13th to 16th September, 2016. They also participated in  workshops conducted in parallel to the main EC-TEL conference. Konstantinos presented a paper, “Towards understanding the potential of teaching analytics within educational communities” at the “4th International Workshop on Teaching Analytics” (IWTA’16). Kalpani participated in Connecting Learning Design and Learning Analytics (CLAD) workshop co-organized by Davinia Hernández-Leo and the topic of the paper was “Connecting pattern-based learning designs with analytics: The case of the PyramidApp”.

The papers they presented in the main conferences are:

Abstract : Computer Supported Collaborative Learning methods support fruitful social interactions using technological mediation and orchestration. However, studies indicate that most existing CSCL methods have not been applied to large classes, means that they may not scale well or that it’s unclear to what extent or with which technological mechanisms scalability could be feasible. This paper introduces and evaluates PyramidApp, implementing a scalable pedagogical method refining Pyramid (aka Snowball) collaborative learning flow pattern. Refinements include rating and discussing to reach upon global consensus. Three different face-to-face classroom situations were used to evaluate different tasks of pyramid interactions. Experiments led to conclude that pyramids can be meaningful with around 20 participants per pyramid of 3–4 levels, with several pyramids running in parallel depending on the classroom size. An underpinning algorithm enabling elastic creation of multiple pyramids, using control timers and triggering flow awareness facilitated scalability, dynamism and overall user satisfaction in the experience.

Abstract: Social computing enables collective actions and social interaction with rich exchange of information. In the context of educators’ networks where they create and share learning design artifacts, little is known about their collective behavior. Learning design tooling focuses on supporting educators (learning designers) in making explicit their design ideas and encourages the development of “learning design communities”. Building on social elements, this paper aims to identify the level of engagement and interactions in three communities using an Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE). The results show a relationship between the exploration of different artifacts and creation of content in all the three communities confirming that browsing influence the community’s outcomes. Different patterns of interaction suggest specific impact of language and length of support for users.

See also info in our gti group website and also the presentation we did about PyramidApp in a Collaborative Online International Learning Symposium.

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education welcomes submissions to the thematic series on ‘Learning design for in situ continuous professional development’. Deadline: Dec. 1st.

Building on recent advances in learning design and focusing on higher education, this thematic series addresses the specific challenges that designers of learning arrangements face when designing in situ professional development (such as workplace learning). As always, such designs should cover the activities that learners engage in, the social setting (fellow learners, facilitators) and the context in which learners carry out their activities. If the workplace is the context and the learners are professionals, designers face unprecedented challenges. For example, how can educators be convinced to become genuine designers who cast aside their default constraints of school, curriculum, lecture and embrace the opportunities of online or blended learning? How can learning activities be designed that are at the very leas compatible with but better still make sense in a workplace setting? How can team learning be facilitated? How can the transition from merely learning in a team to learning in a large, personal networked learning environment be made? And also, how should this kind of learning be implemented in a workplace environment that has been spoon fed on training sessions with mere knowledge transfer, often in settings away from the workplace? We welcome papers that focus on these and other challenges typical for the design of in situ professional development arrangements. Although such papers may be situated in any workplace setting, papers addressing the topic of teacher professional development are of specific interest.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Learning design
  • Design thinking
  • Professional development
  • Continuous professional development
  • Workplace learning
  • online learning
  • Technology-enhanced learning
  • Blended learning


Shirley Agostinho from University of Wollongong visited us the last two weeks. We have enormously enjoyed her visit these days, including encouraging conversations with the different members of the team, the nice piece of joint work done and the avenues for collaboration identified. We will really miss having her around!


From left: Laura Serra, Marc Beardsley, Kostas Michos, Kalpani Manathunga, Davinia Hernández-Leo, Shirley Agostinho, Pablo Abenia, Laia Albo

This is the picture we took the first day of her visit (Sep. 12th) and that she has also shared in their “learning design research” blog.

Below the slides I used in the panel “Global partnership for development. The role of academia in empowering participatory and collaborative action” at the Social Impact of Science Conference 2016. I talked about “Open collaborative platforms, education and research: MOOCs, ILDE“.


The session was chaired by Enric Senabre Hidalgo, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and with speakers Xavier Serra Casals, Dept. of Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Davinia Hernández Leo, Dept. of Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Bruno Raimbault, Médecins Sans Frontières, Open Street Map movement; Xabier Barandiaran, Barcelona City Council – Participation Councillorship. The session organised with the support of the DTIC-UPF María de Maeztu Units of Excellence Programme (MDM-2015-0502).