Hello! I’m Dr. Shibani Antonette, Lecturer in TD School (formerly the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation or FTDI), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia, where I teach into the Master of Data Science and Innovation course. I completed my PhD in Learning Analytics at the Connected Intelligence Centre, UTS.

As modern computing technologies progress towards automation and improved efficiency, there is increasing opportunity to harness them for social good. A computer science engineer by training, I develop applied technologies that can transform real-life practices. My research is in the field of ‘Learning Analytics’  and ‘AI in education’ where we apply analytic techniques to understand and improve educational practice. In my work cutting across the fields of data science and education, I build computational systems making use of data analytics (text analytics and Natural Language Processing/NLP in particular), to improve teaching and learning contexts. I study how these technologies are integrated in the classroom to examine their potential impact on students. I believe that the technical advancement by itself is not of immense value for learning, until and unless, it actually makes an impact in the educational context.

My doctoral research under the supervision of Prof. Simon Buckinghum Shum and Dr. Simon Knight is on ‘Writing Analytics’ which makes use of analytic techniques to improve student writing. This included developing user-centered tools that can provide automated feedback on students’ writing at scale using artificial intelligence techniques, and making use of NLP techniques to study the process of writing. I worked on finding effective forms of such formative feedback and developing learning designs that integrate these automated feedback tools into the curriculum. In my previous work at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, I worked with Dr. Elizabeth Koh to explore teamwork, which is an essential skill for a 21st century learner. The research projects led us to a better understanding of teamwork in a collaborative problem-solving context, with interventions designed for school students to improve their teamwork and collaboration. During this work, I explored computational approaches to study teamwork, and made use of text mining and machine learning techniques to automatically identify teamwork dimensions from online chat logs of students.

Having established a strong research profile in the field of Learning Analytics and Artificial Intelligence in education, I have presented my work in various international conferences, and have delivered talks and panel discussions across institutions. I have been an invited program committee member and reviewer for conferences and peer-reviewed journals. Details of the publications and research leadership can be found in the Research section of my blog. I am a recipient of the ‘Future Women Leaders Conference Award, 2019’ for early career female leaders in academia who are actively involved in the fields of Engineering and IT, and the ‘ACM-W scholarship award’ from the Association of Computing Machinery, New York for Women in Computing.

I’m currently an executive committee member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research SOLAR and chair the Special Interest Group on Writing Analytics. I co-host the SoLAR Spotlight- Conversations on Learning Analytics podcast series which disseminates research among the wider community. (Check out Episode 09: 21st Century Skills and Learning Analytics, Episode 06: Privacy and Ethics in Learning Analytics, Episode 03: Giving a voice to stakeholders in Learning Analytics Design, Episode 01: Learning Analytics – Past, Present, and Future).ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-4619-8684