Month: December 2015

looking forward to a lion

'A Lion Lying in the Grass'. Photograph of a lion (female) lying in the grass in Africa in the early 20th century. © The University of Edinburgh
‘A Lion Lying in the Grass’. Photograph of a lion (female) lying in the grass in Africa in the early 20th century. © The University of Edinburgh

Wishing you all a happy holiday. I have never been so exhausted by the end of term in my life! It’ll be lovely not to have to get up in the morning.

LARC rise

Chicken analytics © The University of Edinburgh
No pictures of larks available so you’ll have to make do with chicken analytics
© The University of Edinburgh

I am delighted to be chairing the project steering group for the University of Edinburgh LARC ‘Learning Analytics Report Card’ project.

This project asks: ‘How can University teaching teams develop critical and participatory approaches to educational data analysis?’ It seeks to develop ways of involving students as research partners and active participants in their own data collection and analysis, as well as foster critical understanding of the use of computational analysis in education.

The ‘Learning Analytics Report Card’  captures data from an individual student’s course-related activity, and presents a summary of their academic progress in textual and visual form. However, rather than manifesting through hidden and inaccessible institutional data aggregation and analysis, the LARC offers students an opportunity to play with their data; to choose what is included or excluded, when the report is generated, and how it might be presented.

Rather than simply empowering the individual, this process reveals the functioning of the algorithms that increasingly underpin and govern educational decision-making. A pilot LARC will be developed for the MSc in Digital Education programme at the University of Edinburgh, with a view  to producing a packaged system that might be used in other online provision.

The first draft of the Learning Analytics Report Card interface is now complete, and is ready for testing with Moodle data and the phase 1 analytics. The interface is behind the EASE login, which will restrict access to the identified pilot students, as well as facilitate login information for the data capture from Moodle. At present, the options available to students reflect the 5 categories of analytics constituting the fist phase of development: Attendance, Social Interaction, Engagement, Performance, Personal.

If you want to know more, contact Jeremy in the project team.

speak, friend, and enter

Picture taken by me in the street. No rights reserved by me.

This week I’ll be speaking at:
Texts and contexts: the cultural legacies of Ada Lovelace
Mathematical Institute, Woodstock Road, Oxford

A workshop bringing together graduate students and early career researchers to discuss the varied cultural legacies of this extraordinary figure.   More information

The full 3 day symposium was a great success.

I noted there were more women than usual at a Computer Science conference and I learned that maths saved Ada Lovelace from being known only as a mad cat lady.