The LAK conference has created a practitioner track for submissions as an alternative to the research track. We understand that a significant portion of learning analytics work is spearheaded by practitioners who rely on implementation and experimentation rather than traditional academic research. Both approaches help to improve the state of the art.
Publication and Recognition
The Practitioner Track will publish its own set of proceedings as a SoLAR publication (this is separate from the research track proceedings). There will also be an award given for Best Presentation and Best Technology Showcase.
The primary goal of the practitioner track is to share thoughts and findings that stem from learning analytics project implementations. While both large and small implementations will be considered, all practitioner track submissions should relate to initiatives that are designed for large-scale and/or long-term use (as opposed to research-focused initiatives). Other guidelines include:
- Implementation track record The project has been used by an institution or has been deployed on a learning site. There are no hard guidelines about user numbers or how long the project has been running.
- Learning/education related The submission should describe work that addresses learning/academic analytics, either at an educational institution or in an area (such as corporate training, health care or informal learning) where the goal is to improve the learning environment or learning outcomes.
- Institutional involvement: Neither the submission nor the presentation has to include a named person from an academic institution. However, all submissions should include information collected from people who have used the tool or initiative in a learning environment (such as faculty, students, administrators and trainees).
- No sales pitches: While submissions from commercial suppliers are welcomed, reviewers will not accept overt (or covert) sales pitches. Reviewers will look for evidence that the presentation will take into account challenges faced, problems that have arisen, and/or user feedback that needs to be addressed.
While submissions on all topics related to learning analytics will be considered, these topics are likely to prove most interesting to conference attendees:
- Lessons learned – implementation: After going through the learning analytics implementation process, what factors have surfaced that affect the success of the project?
- Lessons learned – outcomes: What were the stated measures of success of the project? Have they been met during the implementation? Did other unexpected results appear after a certain amount of time?
- Innovative new tools/techniques: Share newly developed tools or approaches to learning analytics that have been implemented at an institution. Reviewers will look for unique characteristics and at how deployment has influenced development.
- Application of standards: A project making use of data/analytics standards and illustrating the benefits of such an approach.
- Collaboration and sharing: How are groups of institutions/practitioners partnering to solve shared problems in the learning analytics space?
- Solving a new problem: Traditional analytic approaches tackle questions like “Did the student master this topic?” or “Will this student pass that class?” Has the submission tried to answer a novel question in the learning analytics space?
Submissions will be considered for presentation/panel sessions during the conference as well as for a technology showcase event. Practitioners may make submissions for more than one of these:
- Practitioner Presentation (20-minute presentation plus 10-minute Q&A) – Presentation sessions are designed to focus on deployment of a single learning analytics tool or initiative. Topics can range from single implementations of learning analytics tools / initiatives up to the deployment of cross functional systems or larger projects that have been rolled out at scale. It is preferable to provide both a summary of results and lessons learned during implementation / identified best practices for the audience to learn from. Practitioner presentations are part of the main conference schedule and will be held in integrated sessions with research presentations.
- Technology Showcase (90 minutes) – The Technology Showcase event is designed to enable practitioners to demonstrate new and emerging learning analytics technologies that they are piloting or deploying. This can be done through the use of interactive hands-on demonstrations of digital content and/or printed posters. The Technology Showcase will be held in conjunction with the Research Poster session during the conference. A table (but no projector) and/or mounting board (3ft wide x 4ft tall) will be provided for practitioners’ showcase of digital content and/or explanatory text respectively.
Proposal Format & Submission Process
Practitioner Track proposals should specify whether the submission is for a Presentation or the Technology Showcase. Proposals should adhere to the word limits indicated in the Submission Form sub-sections listed below, and not exceed a total of 6 pages in length (including figures/visuals):
- Proposal Type
- Presentation/Showcase Title
- Name(s) of Presenter(s)
- Email Address
- Abstract (up to 100 words)
- Keywords (up to 10)
- Summary of deployment with end users (up to 100 words)
- Full Description (up to 1500 words)
Steps for Proposal Submission
1. Download the LAK17 Practitioner Proposal Submission Form (MS Word Format| RTF Format )
2. Complete the form and convert to PDF format (Need help converting?)
3. Access the EasyChair LAK17 submission system and register or sign in.
Click the “New Submission” menu tab and follow the on-screen instructions. NOTE: Please copy and paste the presenter information, title, abstract, keywords and deployment summary into the online form as well as including them in the PDF.
Practitioner Track Chairs
Shady Shehata, Desire2Learn, Canada (shady.shehata at d2l.com)
Jennifer Pei-Ling Tan, National Institute of Education, Singapore (jen.tan at nie.edu.sg)