Orchestrating Learning Analytics: A framework for researchers, teachers and developers
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AbstractThe meteoric rise in popularity of the Learning Analytics (LA) field and its recent advances, has attracted the attention of researchers, teachers and educational technology system developers alike. However, despite the profusion of LA proposals and tools (in the last year, the submissions to the LAK conference have almost doubled), very often practitioners are unsure of whether a certain LA tool or method is suitable for them, or how to translate the tool’s outputs into practical pedagogical actions. In a similar manner, new system designers/developers entering the field (e.g., coming from other markets like business analytics) fail to grasp the specific needs and constraints of authentic educational settings. This disconnect between research/technology proposals and everyday pedagogical practice, however, is not exclusive to learning analytics: in the wider field of technology-enhanced learning it has been posited as a well-known problem and challenge. The notion of “technologies for orchestration” (or “orchestrable technologies”) has been put forward as a way of helping researchers and system developers understand the constraints and complexity of teachers’ activities in authentic educational practice, thus leading to the design/proposal of classroom technologies that are easier to adopt in everyday educational settings. Stemming from their previous orchestration and learning analytics research, their experience in applying such research to authentic classroom settings, as well as from an extensive literature review, the workshop organizers have identified a series of crucial aspects for the mutual understanding of educational stakeholders that are considering the proposal/adoption of a novel learning analytics intervention. These aspects have been formalized into OrLA, a conceptual framework and guidelines to support such activities.