LAK 2019 in Tempe, Arizona

I attended the Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference LAK this year in the midst of my tight thesis writing schedule, and did not regret it 🙂 This 9th International LAK (4-8 Mar, 2019) was held in Tempe, Arizona which meant a flight travel of 15 hours + transit from Sydney one way; I survived, thankfully.

First of all, I was excited to have been awarded a scholarship from ACM-W that supports Women in Computing for conference travel. And super excited to have received it for LAK which competes with journals in publishing some of the most influential work in educational technology.

I kicked off LAK2019 with the full day Writing Analytics workshop I chaired on Advances in Writing Analytics: Mapping the state of the field. While the other workshop organizers could not make it that day which was unfortunate, I’m thankful for the support from UTS CIC colleagues and the participants for helping to run a successful workshop. This fourth workshop in the series of Writing Analytics workshops in LAK had great participation and discussions. We saw interesting presentations on writing analytics from various speakers, and tried a demo version of AcaWriter to see the tool in action – check out tweets with #WaLAK19 and #LAK19. We brainstormed utopian and dystopian visions of how writing analytics in 2030 would look like, and discussed ways to get to a desirable future from where we are now. The potential formation of a Special Interest Group on Writing Analytics (SIGWA) was discussed to facilitate a community of researchers in the area. Notes from the workshop are shared here.

In the main conference, I presented our full research paper, co-authored by Dr. Simon Knight and Prof. Simon Buckingham Shum on Contextualizable Learning Analytics Design: A Generic Model and Writing Analytics Evaluations. We emphasized the need for flexible Learning Analytics Applications that can provide contextualized support, and demonstrated the CLAD model with our example.

I recommend watching the key note recordings from LAK’19, which are added in the SOLAR youtube channel. I would have loved to go into more detail to highlight some of the interesting work across LAK, but my notes for this conference are shorter than my usual notes since I’m now back to thesis writing and frantically managing time 😂. I did come across exciting work and meet lots of interesting people, most of whom I followed-up (I think!), so hope there would be new collaborations! I also officially joined the Society of Learning Analytics (SOLAR) executive committee as the elected student member. Thrilled and looking forward to serving on the committee!


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