Doctoral Consortium for the 2016 Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference

PIs: Stephanie Teasley, Bodong Chen
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Award Details

Using data analytics has revolutionized many academic disciplines, such as Astrophysics and Biology. In addition, it has changed the commercial world and critical services like healthcare. The field of education research is also beginning this change. The Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) is a key player in effecting this change. This project will support a Doctoral Consortium at the SoLAR 2016 conference – the 6th Annual International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference, to be held in Edinborough, UK in 2016. Participating in the consortium will prepare current doctoral students from the diverse research backgrounds that make up the interdisciplinary field of Learning Analytics (LA), including computer science, information science, psychology, communication, education, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science. It will also allow them to network with each other and with professors and practitioners who are currently engaged in learning analytics research and related work to ensure the continued development of this community. These activities are critical and timely. The upcoming generation of LA researchers will play a vital role in realizing the potential of using data to improve outcomes for elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students in learning, motivation, and perseverance.

Learning Analytics is an interdisciplinary field whose goal is to advance and apply knowledge about learning sciences and education to improve all aspects of learning. LA methods include data visualization, data mining, data science, and mixed methods approaches combining qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g., interviews and back-end, clickstream data analysis). Capacity building is a central concern within the LA community. SoLAR has historically addressed these needs, in part, through specialized workshops held in conjunction with the Society’s major conference. The Doctoral Consortium workshops host PhD students who are grappling with their dissertation research. This grant provides travel support to US scholars selected through a competitive application process to participate in this event. They present their work for feedback both in the context of workshop, where they receive advice from a panel of expert mentors, and in a poster session in which they interact with the full conference audience. In addition, their work is published in the proceedings of the conference.

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