Tuesday, 13 November 2018

#MOOC free report, event MOOC for refugees (w travel fund options) and #CfP eMOOC2019

Two interesting MOOC events coming up one focused on MOOCs for refugees, and one for all you out there involved in researching or experiencing MOOCs (the eMOOC2019 conference). 

Free MOOC report

Linked to the MOONLITE event, there is a free MOOC report (130 pages) on “Exploiting MOOCs for Access and Progression into Higher Education Institutions and Employment Market”
The report gives an overview of the goals of the project, the methodology, and finishes with the practical recommendations for using online courses to enhance access and progression into higher education and the employment market (for refugees). 

MOONLITE multiplier event (part of a EU Erasmus+ project)

The MOONLITE event supports learning without borders, practically it harnesses the potential of MOOCs for refugees and migrants to build their language competences and entrepreneurial skills for employent, higher education, and social inclusion. 

There are bursaries to help cover your travel expenses which you can apply for at the venue!
23-24 November, UNED (Madrid, Spain).
Friday November 23
15:20. Welcome (Timothy Read & Elena Barcena, UNED, Spain)
15:30-16:30. Presentation of the MOONLITE project and its outputs (Jorge Arús-Hita, UCM, Spain & Beatriz Sedano, UNED, Spain)
16:30-17:30. Open Education Passports and Micro Credentials for refugees and migrants (Ildiko Mazar, Knowledge Innovation Centre, Malta)
17:30-18:00 Coffee
18:00-19:00 Kiron Educational Model and Quality Assurance for MOOC-based curricula (María Bloecher, Kiron, Germany)
Saturday November 24
10:00-11:00:  Inclusive by design: how MOOCs have the potential to reach people in ways other online courses do not (Kate Borthwick, University of Southampton, UK)
11:00-12:00: A tool for institutions for quantifying the costs & benefits of Open Education (Anthony Camilleri, Knowledge Innovation Centre, Malta)
12:00-12:30 Coffee
12:30-13:30: Workshop on how to design a socially inclusive MOOC (Elena Martín- Monje & Timothy Read, UNED, Spain)
13:30. Farewell (Timothy Read & Elena Barcena, UNED, Spain)

See travel details, online registration and more info here. No attendance fee. Limited places. 
➢ Sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/RXYWS8MiQgYqfLkC2 (to obtain attendance certificate, materials, coffee).
➢ Venue: C/ Juan del Rosal, 16 - 28040 Madrid. How to get there: Metro until the stop: “Ciudad Universitaria” + Bus “U” until
the stop: UNED-Juan del Rosal: http://www.ia.uned.es/llegar-etsii

Call for papers eMOOC2019

Dates: 20 - 22 May 2019 
Venue: University of Naples, Federico II in Italy

Important Dates:
16 Jan 2017: Paper submissions for Research Track.
24 Feb 2017: Notification of acceptance/rejection
20 Mar 2017: Camera-ready versions for Springer LNCS Proceedings and copyright form.

The Higher Education landscape is changing. As the information economy progresses, demand for a more highly, and differently, qualified workforce increases, and HE Institutions face the challenge of reskilling and upskilling people throughout their lives. The corporate and NGO sectors are themselves exploring the benefits of a more qualified online approach to training, and are entering the education market in collaboration with HE Institutions, but also autonomously or via new certifying agencies. Technology is the other significant player in this scenario. It allows for new, data-driven ways of measuring learning outcomes, new curriculum structures and alternative forms of recruitment strategy via people analytics.

MOOCs represent the crossroads where the three converge. Come to EMOOCs 2019 and explore the impact and future direction of open, online education on a social, political and institutional level.

The eMOOC summit has four tracks: research, business, policy and experience track.
At the MOOC crossroads: where academia and business converge

The Higher Education landscape is changing. As the information economy progresses, demand for a more highly, and differently, qualified workforce and citizens increases, and HE Institutions face the challenge of training, reskilling and upskilling people throughout their lives, rather than providing a one-time in-depth education. The corporate and NGO sectors are themselves exploring the benefits of a more qualified online approach to training, and are entering the education market in collaboration with HE Institutions, but also autonomously or via new certifying agencies. Technology is the other significant player in this fast-changing scenario. It allows for new, data-driven ways of measuring learning outcomes, new forms of curriculum definition and compilation, and alternative forms of recruitment strategy via people analytics.

At the MOOC crossroads where the three converge, we ask ourselves whether university degrees are still the major currency in the job market, or whether a broader portfolio of qualifications and micro-credentials may be emerging as an alternative. What implications does this have for educational practice? What policy decisions are required? And as online access eliminates geographical barriers to learning, but the growing MOOC market is increasingly dominated by the big American platforms, what strategic policy do European HE Institutions wish to adopt in terms of branding, language and culture?

The EMOOCs 2019 MOOC stakeholders summit comprises the consolidated four-track format of Research and Experience, Policy and Business. And will feature keynote speakers, round table and panel sessions as well as individual presentations in each track. The aim is for decision-makers and practitioners to explore innovative and emerging trends in online education delivery, and the strategic policy that supports them. Original contributions that share knowledge and carry forward the debate around MOOCs are very welcome.The number of HE institutions involved in MOOCs, and the numbers of courses and enrolled students, has increased exponentially in recent years both in Europe and beyond. One of the results of this growing MOOC movement is an increasing body of research evidence that positions itself within the established research communities in technology enhanced learning, open education and distance learning. Key trends that are accelerating HE technology adoption are blended learning design and collaborative learning as well as a growing focus on measuring learning and redesigning learning spaces, and, in the long-term, deeper learning approaches and cultures of innovation.

This track welcomes high-level papers supported by empirical evidence to provide a rigorous theoretical backdrop to the more practical approaches described in the experience track, and particularly invites contributions in the area of these key trends.

  • Learning Designs – blended learning, collaborative learning, learner-generated content, open textbooks, immersive learning, relating course and content to learning outcomes
  • Defining and Measuring learning – learning analytics, educational data mining, user behaviour studies, adaptive and personalisation studies, cognitive theories and deep learning
  • Technology – infrastructure and interface, tools and methods to provide learning at scale; tools and methods for assessment; tools and methods for data collection and processing; blockchain technology; AI + automated feedback

Submission of Papers
This is a one-step process, via direct submission of abstract and full paper.

Full paper: up to 10 pages including references

There will be official conference proceedings for this track and submissions will be handled through EasyChair.

The use of the supplied Springer template is mandatory: https://www.springer.com/it/computer-science/lncs/conference-proceedings-guidelines

Please remember to indicate the relevant Track when you submit your paper.

Proceedings

The Proceedings of the Research Track will be published by Springer in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) Series.
Submission of Work-in-Progress Short Papers

Short papers (up to 6 pages) are also accepted in this track, reflecting work in progress, for publication in Online proceedings with ISBN.

The use of the Springer template is mandatory:
https://www.springer.com/it/computer-science/lncs/conference-proceedings-guidelines

When submitting your paper, please indicate type of paper and track in the submission process.

Proceedings

The Work-in-Progress proceedings will be submitted to CEUR-WS.org for online publication. Outstanding short papers may be included in the Springer Proceedings.

Important dates:
25 February 2019: Short Paper submissions for Research Track.
25 March 2019: Notification of acceptance/rejection
29 April 2019: Camera-ready versions for online Proceedings with ISBN and copyright form

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Page for #IDVmatrix on #LMS description and setting it amidst other tools

picture by Giulia Forsythe
In the past year I have been adding some Instructional Design descriptions in my notebook. After I while I realized that something useful could come out of this very varied collection, so now I am putting some of these pages online (the Instructional Design Variation matrix or IDVmatrix). The idea is to grow a compendium of these pages, adding parameters that are meaningful in ID to each of those learning/teaching design elements, and eventually use these parameters as a matrix to use on the job. I will only write them here, and add the #IDVmatrix hashtag for easy recall once these pages grow. The reason behind these pages is to create a contemporary overview of Instructional Design options that are out there, and to build an instrument that allows you to quickly screen whether other ID-options can be used that reflect the same parameters you are looking for (taking into account your target learning population). The collection will have standard ID-tools (e.g. authoring tools, LMS, MOOCs...) as well as more contemporary learning and teaching tools (e.g. chatbots, machine learning, ...). The template I will follow is simple: short description (as brief as possible while allowing main features to be addressed), a segment on who uses it and how (of course that will be a not exhaustive), referring to some examples, important features to keep in mind, and finally adding a matrix stamp to it (taking into account the 5 parameters I think are relevant to structuring educational tools. And trying to add some meaningful, possibly EdTech critical pictures as a bonus. First one: a classic: the LMS.

Learning Management System (LMS)

Learning Management Systems (LMS, also related to Content Management or Course Management Systems) come in many variations, but generally they offer a digital environment to facilitate, support and design online or blended instruction. an LMS offers content structuring options (put specific modules online, sometimes integrate a learning path into those courses), quiz-options (including a question-database with a variety of quiz-options), and communication services between the learners, the facilitators, the course managers ... or all of the learning stakeholders.
The LMS is pre-programmed. In some cases this means the complete system is programmed (e.g. Blackboard, WIZiq), and you - as a course provider - can only customize specific features, but in other cases you can customize a big part of the system (due to open source code), including some programming that you do yourself (e.g. Drupal, Moodle). Some smaller LMSs offer a more specialized and valuable option, e.g. Curatr which emphasizes the social learning factor. Some LMS also include course libraries, or you - the institute - can build an open, LMS supported library to offer support to your learners.
Normally these systems are self-contained, but with options to integrate other tools to align the LMS with contemporary learning realities (e.g. integrate instagram, twitter). Although some LMS are free, you need to consider the cost of server space, programming some features, supporting all users, and keeping the system up and running 24.7.
Who uses it: learners, teachers, trainers, course coordinators, ... each on their own level. Normally user rights can be allocated within the LMS. Depending on the role, the LMS will offer a different experience (back-end mostly for course-delivery people, and front-end for the learner). 
Important features to keep in mind while choosing a LMS: security features are very important as a LMS generates a lot of learner data and communications traffic. A mobile app is a must, test it on multiple devices to estimate the quality of the app. Offline features will make life much easier for learners. SCORM options make life easier for any instructional designer, and xAPI features will allow the educators/facilitators to make meaningful analysis from all the learner data.
IDVmatrix stamp


Call for papers #CfP from #BJET & call for co-authoring book on #Philosophy #AI #humanmachine #interdisciplinary

The call for papers below is for authors researching 'human learning and learning analytics in the age of artificial intelligence' and is an action to celebrate BJET's 50th anniversary. But first ... the call for co-authors to realize a new Rebus book on the subject of Introduction to Philosophy series.


Seeking Authors & Editors for Introduction to Philosophy Series

The Rebus Community initiative Introduction to Philosophy series has grown tremendously, and a few books are nearing the final stages! Led by Christina Hendricks (University of British Columbia), the series includes eight volumes in total, ranging across themes. We are currently seeking faculty interested in contributing to the series by authoring chapters in the following books:
Epistemology
Aesthetics
Metaphysics
Social and Political Philosophy
Philosophy of Religion

See the full list of open and completed chapters.

Authors should have a PhD in philosophy and teaching experience at the first-year level. PhD students and candidates may also be considered as authors, or can contribute to the book in other ways. If you are interested, please let us know in Rebus Projects. Include your CV, a brief summary of your experience teaching an intro to philosophy course, and the chapters you would like to write.

We’re also looking for a co-editor for the Aesthetics book, and an editor forPhilosophy of Science. If you’re interested in taking on one of these roles, read the full job posting and then comment in the activity on Rebus Projects, including some details about your experience and the area in which you are interested.

The editorial team encourages contributions from members of under-represented groups within the philosophy community. Decisions will be made by the team on a rolling basis.
Photo by Samuel Sianipar on Unsplash Reading source Mary Midgley, "Philosophical Plumbing" 

CfP for papers on the subject of Human learning and learning analytics in the age of artificial intelligence, a 50th anniversary edition of BJET

At the 50th anniversary of the Britisch Journal of Educational Technology (BJET) invites you to contribute your most current research to BJET as a way to celebrate BJET’s anniversary. Title of the special section: Human learning and learning analytics in the age of artificial intelligence (Critical perspectives on learning analytics and artificial intelligence in education)

Deadline for manuscript submissions: February 10th, 2019
Publication: Online as soon as copy editing complete.
Acceptance Deadline: 10th August 2019
Issue Publication: November 2019.
Guest editor: Andreja Istenič Starčič, Professor University of Primorska & University of Ljubljana; Visiting scholar University of North Texas. For all information, please contact: andreja.starcic@gmail.com

This special section focuses on human learning and learning analytics in the age of artificial intelligence across disciplines.

In May 2018, they organized a working symposium entitled The “The Human-Technology Frontier: Understanding the Human Intelligence 0.2 with Artificial Intelligence 2.0.” The symposium was sponsored by the Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). Distinguished scholars, including learning scientists, psychologists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, and educators addressed some urgent questions and issues on the learner as a whole person, with healthy development of the brain, habit, behaviour, and learning in the fast-advancing technological world. The symposium inspired these special issue topics (which not limited to):

1. Learning and human intelligence: Based on what we know of the brain and what we are likely to understand in the near future, how should learning be defined/redefined?
2. Learning and innovation skills, the 4C - creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration: How could learning technologies support the transformative nature of learning involving all domains of learning, cognitive, psychomotor, affective-social? How could the advanced feedback and scaffolds support the transition from “combinational” to the “exploratory” and “transformational” creativity, thinking and potential consequences for communication and collaboration?
3. Towards a holistic account of a person – brain, body, habits, and environment: What would a learning and research design that embraces a whole person perspective look like?
4. Human intelligence with innovations and advances of technologies: What technologies are most likely to have a positive impact on learning in the short and long future?
5. Properties and units of measures of learning: What are the constructs of learning and beliefs about learners and learners’ needs given the multilevel technologies, collaborative networks, interaction and interface modalities, methodologies and analysis techniques we have to work with?
6. Learning perspectives: Do we face transitions in theories of learning?

In the past 50 years, BJET has been at the front offering a platform and forcing discussions in the above areas. At the 50th anniversary of BJET, we invite interdisciplinary scholars to contribute their most current research to BJET as a way to celebrate BJET’s anniversary.

Please send me the working title of your paper with a short abstract (if you include co-authors, please also provide names of all authors) to my e-mail andreja.starcic@gmail.com by November 30th, 2018.

For further information, please contact professor Andreja Istenič Starčič at andreja.starcic@gmail.com

Monday, 8 October 2018

(free) book Assessment strategies for online learning #education #assessment #eLearning #instructionaldesign

Assessing online learning has many challenges, but with this new book written by experts Dianne Conrad and Jason Openo, a lot of solutions can be found. The book, entitled Assessment Strategies for Online Learning - Engagement and Authenticity, can be bought for 32,99 dollars  here (if you have a budget this is the way to go as you support author and initiative), or you can have a look at the free pdf here. This book is a must read for those using assessment, as it not only gives traditional assessment, but also dives into evaluations that are linked to open learning, journals, portfolios, etc. Great and interesting read.

If you want to check out what Dianne Conrad has in mind while talking about assessment, or if you have some questions, you can join the free online CIDER session on 10th October 2018

When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 11am to 12noon Mountain Time (Canada)

Where: Online through Adobe Connect at:
https://athabascau.adobeconnect.com/cider

Registration is not required; all are welcome. CIDER Sessions are recorded and archived for later viewing through the CIDER website. For more information on CIDER and our Sessions, please visit us at: http://cider.athabascau.ca
(from the book description):
For many learners, assessment conjures up visions of red pens scrawling percentages in the top right-hand corner of exams and feelings of stress, inadequacy, and failure. Although learners sometimes respond negatively to evaluation, assessments have provided educational institutions with important information about learning outcomes and the quality of education for many decades. But how accurate are these data and have they informed practice or been fully incorporated into the learning cycle? Conrad and Openo argue that the potential inherent in online learning environments to alter and improve assessment and evaluation has yet to be explored by educators and learners.
In their investigation of assessment methods and learning approaches, Conrad and Openo explore assessment that engages and authentically evaluates learning. They insist that online and distance learning environments afford educators new opportunities to embrace only the most effective face-to-face assessment methods and to realize the potential of engaged learning in the digital age. In this volume, practitioners will find not only an indispensable introduction to new forms of assessment but also a number of best practices as described by experienced educators.

1. The Big Picture: A Framework for Assessment in Online Learning

2. The Contribution of Adult Education Principles to Online Learning and Assessment

3. What Do You Believe? The Importance of Beliefs about Teaching and Learning in Online Assessment

4. Authenticity and Engagement: The Question of Quality in Assessment

5. Assessment Using E-Portfolios, Journals, Projects, and Group Work

6. The Age of “Open”: Alternative Assessments, Flexible Learning, Badges, and Accreditation

7. Planning an Assessment and Evaluation Strategy—Authentically

8. Flexible, Flipped, and Blended: Technology and New Possibilities in Learning and Assessment

9. A Few Words on Self-Assessment

10. Summing Up

Appendix • Other Voices: Reflections from the Field

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). It may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original author is credited.

Assessing online learning is mostly part of formal education, but can be used to provide a formal status to self-directed learning which the learner wants to show to the public. 

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Machine learning benefits and risks by expert Stella Lee #AI #data #learning

Machine learning has moved from a mere rave into a real strong, acknowledged learning power (not only in the news, but also on the stock market of AI, e.g. STOXX AI global indices - I was quite surprised to see this). Machine learning has the power to support personalized learning, as well as adaptive learning, which allows an instructional designer to engage learners in such a way that learning outcomes can be reached in more than one way (always a benefit!). Machine learning allows the content or information that is provided for training/learning to be delivered in such a way that it fits the learner, and that it reacts to the learner feedback (answers, speed of response, etc). To be able to tailor a fixed set of learning objectives into flexible training demands some technological options: data, algorithms that can interpret the data, access to some sort of connectivity (e.g. it might be ad hoc with a wifi and an information hub, or it might be via cloud and the internet), and money to program, iterate and optimize the learning options continuously.

This (data, interpretation, choices made by machines - algorithms) means that machine learning combines so many learning tools, data and computing power, that it inevitably comes with a high sense of philosophical and ethical decisions: what is the real learning outcome we want to achieve, what are the interpretations of our algorithms, what is the difference between manipulation towards a something people must learn and learning that still offers a critically based outcome for the learner?

Stella Lee offers a great overview of what it means to use machine learning (e.g. for personalized learning paths, for chatbox that deliver tech or coaching support, for performance enhancement). This talk is worth a look or listen. Stella Lee is one of those people who inspire me through their love for technology, by being thorough, thoughtful, and being able to turn complex learning issues into feasable learning opportunities you want to try out. She gave a talk to Google Cambridge on the subject of machine learning and AI and ... she inspired her tech-savvy audience.

In her talk she also goes deeper into the subject of 'explainable AI' which offers AI that can be interpreted easily by people (including relative laymen, which is the case for most learners). Explainable AI is an alternative to the more common black box of AI (useful article), where the data interpretation is left to a select few. Stella Lee's solution for increasing explainable AI is granularity. This simple concept of granularity, or considering what data or indicators to show, and which to keep behind the curtains enables a quicker interpretation of the data by the learner or other stakeholders. Of course this does not solve all transparency, but it enables a path towards interpretation or description towards explainable AI. That way you show the willingness to enter into dialogue with the learners, and to consider their feedback on the machine learning processes. As always engaging the learners is key for trust, advancement and clear interpretation (Stella says it way better than my brief statement here!).

Have a look at her talk on machine learning bias, risks and mitigation below (30 minute talk followed by a 15 min Q&A), or take a quick look at the accompanying article here.

One of the main risks is of course some sort of censorship, or interpretation done by the machine which results in an unbalanced, sometimes discriminatory result. In January I organised some thoughts on AI and education in another blogpost here. And I also gave a talk on the benefits and risks of AI last year, where I argued for increased ethics in AI for education (slides here).

Machine learning is a complex type of learning, it involves a lot of data interpretation, algorithms to get meaningful reactions coming from the data, and of course feedback loops to provide adaptive, personal learning tracks to a number of learners.
Situating it, I would call it costly, useful rather for formal than informal learning (at this point in time), and somewhere between individual and social learning, as the data comes from the many, but the adapted use is for the one. It does not leave much room for self-directed learning,  unless this is built into the machine learning algorithms (first ask learner for learning outcomes, then make choices based on data). 

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Hearables for learning combining #language, #AI & internet #edtech #informal learning

Hearables are clearly on the rise. After the screens (read & write web), learning on the go (mobile learning), the eyes (all sorts of augmented glasses), some kinetic learning (various motion controllers), other wearables (e.g. smart clothing) ... the next sense that is now ready to inspire new learning is: hearing (HLearning). "Hearables are wireless smart micro-computers with artificial intelligence that incorporate both speakers and microphones. They fit in the ears and can connect to the Internet and to other devices; they are designed to be worn daily. One form of specialised hearables are the earphone language translators that offer potential in language teaching." (thank you Rory McGreal for this wonderful description).

Learning with hearables is linked to other, more experienced forms of technology based learning: it is mobile (it is a wearable), it can be used in-context (e.g. in a refugee camp enabling dialogue), it can be implemented within informal learning (using it to increase language skills, or simply to move around in a country where you do not speak the language), hence it helps self-directed learning as you can use the hearables in contexts that you find interesting, and it augments the current information you have, by being able to provide audio feedback or information on a personal level by whispering it into your ear to augment the real world around and within you (wifi and sensor enabled). This puts hearables amidst the already complex learning supported by technology.

Rory McGreal has just given a great overview of hearables for learning, in his most recent CIDER conference. You can download his slides here and listen to his talk here. Or look around on the CIDER page which is packed with EdTech and distance learning talks:
https://landing.athabascau.ca/groups/profile/289790/cider/tab/359765/sessions 

Hearables will be quite a leap forward in translation and language learning (if seamless learning becomes feasable). And for those of us who like spy movies... yep, it has that special agent ring to it as well! 

My colleague Agnes Kukulska-Hulme recently pointed me to the Babel Fish option (referring to the ever inspiring The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), that specific hearable called the Pilot, and build by Waverly labs. This particular device - the Pilot - supports 15 languages (a.o. English, Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Hindi, Spanish, Japanese...), with male and female voices that translate the audio which is recorded by the microphone through a cloud-based translation engine. They even claim to have a low latency (which is kind of nice when you want to match what is said to body language). 

While in-ear translations are a straight forward implementation of augmented and language learning, the processing and AI behind is will also allow increased hearing range, audio information of any kind you choose (biometrics, recognizing a bird in the wild, communication between fish, use it as a recognising machine to get names right of those people you meet, look like a secret agent on top of whatever information which makes you look cool, ...). Of course, the usual considerations can be made: hearables will listen in on what you do and where you go, hearables are not yet a seamless learning aid (the name Pilot is clearly well chosen), battery life (as with all things mobile), connectivity can vary while mobile, and it risks to be another addition to distraction by tech. Nevertheless, this is cool and worth looking into. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

3 Call for speakers/papers and Digital Learning Innovation Award (10.000$ faculty award!)

Learning Solutions conference organised by the ELearning Guild

Conference dates: 26 - 28 March 2019
deadline call for speakers: 27 July 2018
Submission portal: https://www.elearningguild.com/content/5527/learning-solutions-2019-conference--expo--call-for-proposals-form/ 
Venue: Orlando, Florida, USA

Learning Solutions 2018 is for training and learning professionals focused on the design, development, management, and/or distribution of technology-based learning, performance support, or blended solutions incorporating traditional training. The program supports the entire learning team, so regardless of your specific role, you’ll find the tools, technologies, ideas, strategies, and best practices for success. This event attracts people from around the world who want to keep up with the evolving needs of their learners.

Learning Solutions’ dedication to sharing proven examples in learning could help your team gain a stronger sense of what’s available and how you can put these tools and techniques into practice.
The Learning Solutions program is created by learning professionals. The program team comes from the fields of instructional design, eLearning development, and L&D leadership. They pride themselves on staying current with what matters most.
Experts will discuss the strategies and tools currently working in learning, and how they could impact your organization.
The practical, focused sessions will show you how to solve your team’s challenges and use today’s technology for new possibilities.

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Future of Information and Communication Conference (FICC) 2019

Conference dates: 14-15 March 2019, San Francisco, USA
Deadline: 15 July 2018

Technically co-sponsored by IEEE
Please consider to submit your papers/posters/demo proposals for the Future of Information and Communication Conference (FICC) 2019 to be held from 14-15 March 2019 in San Francisco, United States.

FICC 2019 aims to provide a forum for researchers from both academia and industry to share their latest research contributions and exchange knowledge with the common goal of shaping the future of Information and Communication.
The conference programme will include paper presentations, poster sessions and project demonstrations, along with prominent keynote speakers and industrial workshops.

Important Dates
Paper Submission Due : 15 July 2018
Acceptance Notification : 01 August 2018
Author Registration : 15 August 2018
Camera Ready Submission : 15 September 2018
Conference Dates : 14-15 March 2019

Complete details are available on the conference website : http://saiconference.com/FICC
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Online Learning Consortium: Digital Learning Innovation Award (DLIAward) 


The portal is open for submissions until 31 July 2018.

The DLIAward  program recognizes faculty-led teams and institutions for advancing undergraduate student success through the adoption of digital courseware. OLC is calling for submissions from accredited U.S.-based institutions in two categories:
  • Institutional Award – $100,000 (up to three awarded)
  • Faculty-led Team Award – $10,000 (up to 10 awarded)
We ask that only those who are serious about truly being innovative, creative, and dedicated to changing the world of digital learning apply for this award. Missed the information session? You can register to watch the archive.
All applications must be submitted through the online submission portal. Winners will be announced at the OLC Accelerate conference, Nov. 14-16 in Orlando, Florida.
Visit the website for full details regarding the award competition.
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9TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LEARNING ANALYTICS & KNOWLEDGE - LAK

Learning Analytics to Promote Inclusion and Success

4-8 March 2019, Tempe, Arizona

Deadline for submissions: 1 October 2018
Visit the conference website for more information and submission details.

The 2019 edition of the international conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge will take place in Tempe, Arizona, USA. LAK19 is organised by the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) and hosted by Arizona State University.
We take learning analytics to be the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs. We extend invitations to researchers, practitioners, educators, leaders, administrators, government and industry professionals interested in the field of learning analytics and related disciplines.
LAK19 will place particular emphasis on exploring ways in which institutions around the globe are advancing the state of learning analytics in order to promote inclusion and success. Arizona State University, the host institution for LAK19, proclaims in its charter that ASU is ‘measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed’.  Learning analytics play a significant role at many institutions in helping to promote these values. 
Thus the special theme of this edition of the conference will be on ways in which learning analytics can be used to promote inclusion and success. We define inclusion broadly and this definition may cover the engagement of marginalised groups, groups who have not been as successful as others at achieving educational success, learners who find their current curriculum either too challenging or not sufficiently demanding, or other forms of inclusive inquiry. It may also address issues of accessibility in terms of educational opportunities and learning analytics. Success is also defined broadly and may be viewed from the perspective of learners, educators, institutions or society more broadly.
We welcome theoretical, methodological, empirical and technical contributions to all fields related to learning analytics. Related to our special theme the following topics are of particular interest:
  • Universal design for learning promotes an inclusive approach to the curriculum – how can learning analytics support curriculum design and revision from this perspective?
  • How can analytics be applied in ways that support inclusion and success?
  • How can the training of data scientists be made more inclusive?
  • What does educational success look like, and how can it be supported?
  • How can systematic biases (e.g. related to diversity) in our analytics algorithms be identified, reflected, and possibly avoided?
LAK19 will use a double-blind peer review process for the submissions. It is a LAK policy that submissions will only be considered for the category that they were originally submitted to, and there is no downgrading of papers. However, our timeline allows for rejected papers to be resubmitted in revised form as posters, demos, or individual workshop contributions. Accepted full and short research papers will be included in the ACM proceedings, as in previous years. Other accepted submissions will be published in the open access Companion Proceedings, archived on the SoLAR website.

Important Dates

All deadlines are 23:59 GMT-11
Submission deadline for main track categories (Research, Practitioners, Workshops, Tutorials and Doctoral Consortium)1 October 2018
Notification of acceptance for Workshops and Tutorials15 October 2018
Workshop Calls for Participation29 October 2018
Notification of acceptance for Research, Practitioners, Doctoral Consortium19 November 2018
Submission deadline for Posters/Demos and Workshop Papers3 December 2018
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Notification of Acceptance for Posters/Demos and Workshop Papers4 January 2019
Early-bird registration closes8 January 2019
LAK19, Tempe, Arizona4-8 March 2019

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Redirect FB algorithms now and 4 lessons from #CambridgeAnalytica #digitalcitizens

Anyone interested in data and ethics has been reading a gazillion of articles the last week. So, time to recap the big results coming out of the Cambridge Analytica files: correlations have their scientific merits (argh!), humans can be profiled in just 12 likes (honestly, this is how diverse we all are?!), anything measured can be used against us (a Cobra), and teachers around the globe seem more ethical than scientists (my partner says it’s true, I say it isn’t). Well... manipulation is part of history, I guess... but still!

First of all, a nice MIT research project on “How to manipulate Facebook andTwitter instead of letting them manipulate you’ (yes, it is a timely title 😊 ) mentioned in MIT’s Technology Review. The project let’s you – the user – manipulate algorithms emphorced on you by Twitter and Facebook (I like it, activism from within the system). This initiative is called GOBO (if you want to jump right in, you can login for this project here) and it is a prject from researchers at the MIT Media Lab’s Center for CivicMedia. It has an interesting parallel referring to Cambridge Analytica approach, BUT in this case it is truly scientific, and they ensure deleting ANY and EVERY data collected once they have results on how you would like to see algorithms adjusted. So take back the algorithms of Twitter and Facebook with GOBO.

I am just resurfacing after the Cambridge Analytica fraud (I call it fraud as they have been anything but ethical in their so called scientific data gathering: no informed consent, data gathered and not anonymised before using it for 3 parties, data not deleted after a project was finished….).

Correlations are used successfully? Argh!! For years, many educationalists and researchers emphasize that correlation is no replacement for causality. Causality is the basis of all strong research. It is clear that education and correlation aren’t a love story. We- as educators and researchers - know and understand the importance of context, of language use, of how personal each of our learning journeys takes form. In a sense, we should know better then to construct a test that puts everyone in the same batch, and then believe in it to state those things that we think sound nice (however tempting that type of action is... I mean, saves time on reflecting, nuancing, evaluating... and all these time-staking stuff) … but Cambridge Analytica got away with it. PISA was/is another such example. It even manages to enter the OECD report (https://www.oecd.org/education/) as core element of proof leading to rigorous outcomes. PISA test is an in correlation resulting test. A nice list of educationalists that argued against using PISA here. With the Cambridge Analytica files, the correlation monster pops up once again … AND it is now used ‘successfully’ to blind-side people and to get them to doubt their political choices just enough to swing their vote. So, correlations can be used quite viciously for some of the time.  

Forget complex human traits: humans can be profiled in just 12 likes! And all of this comes from research (great paper on how it was set up here, Schwartz , Eichstaedt, Kern, Durzynski, Ramones, Agrawal, Shah, Kosinski,Stillwell, Seligman and Ungar (2013) . Well… how difficult is becomes to state (and belief) that humanity is truly diverse! Admittedly, the Big Five Traits also distil human diversity into just 5 personality traits, but still… being profiled on 12 likes… How individual are we, if that is all it takes to cast each one of us in a box that subsequently can be manipulated from that moment onward? It becomes quite difficult to see humans as complex beings when I take that into account… but we are social, at least that is now proven once again.

Anything measured can be used against us. One of the most interesting blogposts I have read, is an older one from MikeTaylor, stating that as soon as you try to measure how well people are doing, they will switch to optimising for whatever you’re measuring, rather than putting their best efforts into actually doing good work, and this optimising is always at risk of being distorted, even corrupted (Mike refers to Goodhart’s law, Campbell’s law and the Cobra effect – great read).

And teachers around the world have more ethical sense than scientists that do not teach… well it is a discussion, my partner says that fact is well known, I say scientists who do not teach can be ethical as well…. Those darn Cambridge Analytical (and derivates) people! (good example of this is Autumm Caines , she wrote on Platform literacy refering to her encounter with Cambridge Analytica to get all her data from them all the way back in February 2017 (which was a hastle!). Yes, she got active one year before this whole event blew up into an international scandal. Autumm keeps ethics high!