After a 2-year hiatus, CIC had the pleasure of hosting the annual Australian chapter of the Learning Analytics Summer Institute as an in-person event over 8 and 9 December at UTS.
This year’s event was organised by leaders in the learning analytics field from different Australian Universities including UTS, as well as a student representative. Considering how the pandemic had prevented the community – especially PhD students – from gathering together in person, the event was planned to be highly interactive, with many opportunities for networking. The programme included panels, workshops, and show-and-tell sessions, with participants hailing from all over Australia as well as from New Zealand. A cosy event that was attended by approximately 60 participants, attendees included not only higher education researchers and practitioners, but also by a number of K-12 school representatives, who would share about their ventures into learning analytics in partnership with the LA labs.
ALASI22 (#alasi22) was opened by CIC’s director Simon Buckingham Shum with a provocatively titled panel – “Did learning analytics miss the COVID-19 boat?”. This opening session was anchored in nautical metaphor which was gamely carried through by the panellists. Among the key themes that arose from this session were that, while learning analytics was able to some extent to rise to the challenge of online learning, it was agreed that there were missed opportunities in the form of pipelines that would enable learning analytics interventions to be more readily adopted; and professional development is important to ensure that LA can better meet the challenges.
In keeping with its reputation for being one of the thought-leaders in the LA field, CIC was well-represented at the conference, with a number of sessions showcasing developing work by PhD candidates Ben Hicks and Yuveena Gopalan, as well as LA tools such as TRACK and OnTask. In the spirit of collaboration, many sessions highlighted cross-institutional work, including collaborations among higher education institutions, as well as with schools.
The event was graced by UTS’ DVC (Education & Students) Professor Kylie Readman who encouraged the community to reframe the traditional emphasis in the field on “at-risk” students, to “equity” students, in order to attain meaningful student support.
The conference ended with an engaging and interactive crowdsourced keynote facilitated by A/P Linda Corrin (Deakin University), who invited representatives from different perspectives – students, interns, researchers, practitioners, schools – to share their reflections and key takeaways from the event.
With the close of ALASI22, the community looks forward to another stimulating ALASI23.