Learning Analytics Event Focuses on Turning Big Data into Real Understanding

Fri October 5, 2018

On Tuesday, October 16, David Williamson Shaffer will present “The Importance of Meaning: Going Beyond Mixed Methods to Turn Big Data into Real Understanding” as part of the fall learning analytics series co-sponsored by DoIT Academic Technology and the Educational Innovation (EI) Initiative. Registration is open for the event that will be held from noon to 1:00pm in Union South.

David Williamson Shaffer will present on how to take a critical step in the field of learning analytics: moving beyond looking for patterns in mountains of data, and instead telling textured stories at scale. David is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Learning Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Educational Psychology, an Obel Foundation Professor of Learning Analytics at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, and a Data Philosopher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. In addition, he is also an author of more than 150 articles on learning science and learning analytics. His most recent book, Quantitative Ethnography, is about rethinking traditional approaches to the study of learning in the age of Big Data. Professor Shaffer was a keynote speaker at the international Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference in Melbourne, Australia in March.

The third event in the learning analytics series will be held on November 13 from noon to 1:00pm in Union South. The topic will be announced soon, but people can register now.

The learning analytics series is part of a broader campus community of interest for learning analytics, with the primary goal to increase campus awareness about learning analytics and to help campus develop a shared language and knowledge in this domain.

In September, Sara Hagen from the Collaborative for Engineering Education & Training and Sarah Traynor from the School of Medicine & Public Health presented “Six Ways to Use Learning Analytics: A Functional Taxonomy.” They presented a case study and shared a functional taxonomy that helps to explain applied learning analytics, exploring several examples. People can view the presentation slides or access the Learning Analytics Functional Taxonomy on the Blended Learning Fellowship web page, which requires a UW-Madison NetID.

Although not part of the fall’s learning analytics series, people may also be interested in a webinar called “The Lifecycle of Sustainable Analytics: From Data Collection to Change Management.” It is scheduled for Wednesday, October 10 from 1:00-1:50pm. Presented by Dr Mitchell Colver from Utah State University, the webinar is hosted by the EDUCAUSE Student Success Analytics Community Group.

If you’d like to be informed about upcoming news and events, join the listserv by emailing join-uwmadisonlearninganalytics@lists.wisc.edu.