This Week in Learning Analytics (October 4 – October 10, 2014)

Photography by Timothy D. Harfield
Framed Pictures Reflected on Coffee Table | Photograph by Timothy D. Harfield

Latest News

10 October 2014
Big Tech Companies Pledge Student Privacy
Several of the biggest names in education technology on Tuesday will pledge new protections for student data in an effort to plug some of the loopholes in federal privacy law and fend off tighter regulation. The initiative has drawn only lukewarm reviews from privacy advocates who say the new Pledge to Safeguard Student Privacy omits key protections for children and parents. Companies signing the pledge — including Microsoft, Amplify, Edmodo, Knewton and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt — will commit to clearly disclose what type of personal information they collect about students, and for what purpose. They will promise not to sell the information or use it to target advertising at students. They’ll pledge to let parents see their children’s records and correct any errors. [Read more]

10 October 2014
Carnegie Mellon Leads New NSF Project Mining Educational Data to Improve Learning
Carnegie Mellon University will lead a five-year, $5 million early implementation project sponsored by the National Science Foundation to improve educational outcomes and advance the science of learning by creating a large, distributed infrastructure called LearnSphere that will securely store data on how students learn. [Read more]

9 October 2014
Selling School Kids’ Personal Data: Maine Lawmakers Taking Notice
Nearly everything kids do these days is recorded and tracked. Technology companies can then mine this data about students from schools and social media sites, and turn around and use it to market products to students and to their families. And Maine, like most states, has few laws in place to protect them. [Read more]

Latest Blogs

Recent Publications

Legal Issues Associated with Big Data in Higher Education: Ethical Considerations and Cautionary Tales
Jeffrey C. Sum

This chapter examines key legal, ethical, and cautionary issues associated with big Data. These topics include privacy, security, data retention, and intellectual property. The discussion of these topics illustrates that the legal environment offers guidance in practice areas for higher education administrators, yet it also draws attention to new and emerging legal challenges arising from Big Data. Given the latter, the chapter presents several legislative, regulatory, and practice recommendations, which are informed by the law yet move beyond a legal and regulatory framework and into data management strategies. This approach illuminates how the law serves as the connective intelligence to Big Data

Data Mining in Education: A Review on the Knowledge Discovery Perspective
Oratiyush Guleria & Manu Sood

Knowledge Discovery in Databases is the process of finding knowledge in massive amount of data where data mining is the core of this process. Data mining can be used to mine understandable meaningful patterns from large databases and these patterns may then be converted into knowledge.Data mining is the process of extracting the information and patterns derived by the KDD process which helps in crucial decision-making.Data mining works with data warehouse and the whole process is divded into action plan to be performed on data: Selection, transformation, mining and results interpretation. In this paper, we have reviewed Knowledge Discovery perspective in Data Mining and consolidated different areas of data mining, its techniques and methods in it.

Calls for Papers / Participation

5th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY) | 16-20 March 2015 (RESEARCH TRACK SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 14 October 2014, PRACTITIONER TRACK SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 3 November, 2014)

ALASI 2014: Australian Learning Analytics Summer Institute University of Technology Sydney (Sydney, AU) | 20-21 Nov 2014 (APPLICATION DEADLINE: 17 October 2014)

Learning at Scale 2015 Vancouver, BC (Canada) | 14 – 15 March 2015 (SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 22 October 2014)

2015 Southeast Educational Data Symposium (SEEDS) Emory University (Atlanta, GA) | 20 Feb 2015 (APPLICATION DEADLINE: 14 November 2014)

11th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative
Learning: “Exploring the material conditions of learning: Opportunities and
challenges for CSCL”
University of Gothenburg, Sweden | 7 – 11 June 2015 (SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 17 November 2014)

NEW! 28th annual Florida AI Research Symposium (FLAIRS-28) on Intelligent Learning Technologies Hollywood, Florida, USA (SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 17 November 2014)

Upcoming Global Events

20 October 2014
Data, Analytics and Learning: An introduction to the logic and methods of analysis of data to improve teaching and learning

University of Texas Arlington | EdX

Employment Opportunities

Delft Extension School (The Netherlands)
Researcher Learning Analytics – We are looking for a researcher (PhD or Postdoc level), whose research focuses on the modeling and analysis of learners and their learning processes in the context of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 15 October 2014

University of Queensland (Australia)
Applied Learning Analyst – The Applied Learning Analyst will provide learning analytics, modelling and data visualisation support. This includes data analysis, student learner modelling, program and curriculum learning performance analytics, policy development and assistance as required to meet the University’s learning and student experience goals. This position will span all areas of the learning analytics portfolio but retain a particular focus on the modelling and analysis of student learning that support the University’s teaching and learning strategic agenda. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 13 October 2014

NEW! Simon Fraser University (Palo Alto, California)
Tenure Track Position In Educational Technology And Learning Design – The Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University ( seeks applications for a tenure-track position in Educational Technology and Learning Design at the Assistant Professor rank beginning September 1, 2015, or earlier. The successful candidate will join an existing complement of faculty engaged in Educational Technology and Learning Design, and will contribute to teaching and graduate student supervision in our vibrant Masters program at our Surrey campus and PhD program at our Burnaby campus. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: December 1, 2014

NEW! University of Technology, Sydney (Sydney, AUS)
Research Fellow: Data Scientist – We invite applications from highly motivated data scientists wishing to work in a dynamic team, creating tools to provide insight into diverse datasets within the university and beyond. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds, although knowledge of educational theory and practice will be highly advantageous. You are a great communicator, bringing expertise in some combination of statistics, data mining, machine learning and visualisation, and a readiness to stretch yourself to new challenges. We are ready to consider academic experience from Masters level to several years’ Post-Doctoral research, as well as candidates who have pursued non-academic, more business-focused tracks. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: Posted Until Filled

NEW! University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
Senior Digital Media Specialist – The University of Michigan is seeking a qualified Senior Digital Media Specialist to create digital content in support of online and residential educational experiences for the Office of Digital Education & Innovation (DEI). DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: Posted Until Filled

NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education,and Human Developments Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes (USA)
12-month postdoctoral position – available for a qualified and creative individual with interests in postsecondary assessment, learning analytics, data management, and institutional research.The Postdoctoral Fellow will be responsible for promoting the use of institutional data sources and data systems for the purpose of developing institutional assessment tools that can inform decision making and contribute to institutional improvement across New York University (NYU). DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: Open Until Filled