Learning & Student Analytics Conference (LSAC): Implementation, Institutional Barriers and New Developments

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / Amsterdam Center for Learning Analytics

University of Amsterdam / EduWorks

October 26-27, 2017

Location: REC-A Building, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166,

1018 WV Amsterdam

Scope of the conference

Learning and Student Analytics is slowly and steadily making its way from research to practice. In the past decade, actionable research has been carried out stimulating policy makers and educators to take an ever increasing interest in applying these findings to educational practice. However, despite the available evidence, technology, and many examples of good practices, organisational uptake is slow.

One of the reasons for the slow adoption is the lack of dialogue and cross pollination between core expert groups (policy makers, educational researchers, computer scientists, educational system developers, data miners, infrastructure architects and vendors) in academia and practice. Many stakeholders groups are involved in or affected by Learning Analytics without being aware of it, making the sustainable scaled implementation of learning analytics interventions in practice a challenging endeavour at best. These include educational managers, educational designers, educational policy makers both at the organisational and regional level, student associations, employment agencies, ethics boards, data governance centres, technologists, and so forth. There is a need to involve this wider stakeholder group in this discussion, as they have urgent and substantial claims in this fast growing field.

From a research perspective there is a clear need from the community to maintain and evolve a structured Learning Analytics evidence base. This ongoing exercise also requires out of the box thinking in order to diminish barriers between learning analytics related theories, methods, and the available datasets, in a multidisciplinary environment that is later deployable at scale.

Therefore the aim of this conference is to bring together researchers and practitioners from a number of disciplines (e.g. education, technology, computer science, management, psychology, economics, IT security etc.), organisational and national policy makers, educational practitioners, students, employers to share and discuss the latest research insights related to learning and student analytics. The conference further provides a platform for stakeholders to engage in critical conversations about current trends and the policy requirements of Learning Analytics.

The conference is structured around the following three content blocks:

  1. State of the art learning and student analytics research.
  2. Policy debate: How to foster leadership and learning analytics uptake at the organisational level
  3. Applied Sessions:
    1. Privacy Issues
    2. The value and design of early warning systems
    3. Learning Analytics Dashboards

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Register and Abstracts

We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers:

Keynote speaker 1:

Prof. dr. Dragan Gasevic

Dragan Gasevic is a Professor and holds the Chair in Learning Analytics and Informatics in the Schools of Education and Informatics at the University of Edinburgh since February 2015. Prior to the current post, he was a Professor and the Canada Research Chair in Semantic and Learning Technologiesin the School of Computing and Information Systems at Athabasca University since 2007. He is a co-founder and served as President (2015-2017) of the Society for Learning Analytics Research. He is also an (Honorary) Adjunct Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, (Honorary) Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at the University of South Australia, (Honorary) Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Distance Education at Athabasca University, Distinguished Professor in the Institute for Research in Open and Innovative Education, and Research Scientist in the LINK Research Lab at the University of Texas, Arlington. He was also an honorary (Honorary) Adjunct Professor in the Department for Human Development at Teachers’ College, Columbia University (2016) and an IBM CAS Faculty Fellow (2012-2016).

A computer scientist by training and skills, Dragan considers himself a learning analyst developing computational methods that can shape next-generation learning and software technologies and advance our understanding of information seeking, sense-making, and self-regulated and social learning. Funded by granting agencies and industry in Canada and Europe, Dragan is a recipient of several best paper awards at the major international conferences in learning and software technology. The award-winning work of his team on the LOCO-Analytics software is considered one of the pioneering contributions in the growing area of learning analytics. Recently, he has founded ProSolo Technologies Inc that develops a software solution for tracking, evaluating, and recognizing competences gained through self-directed learning and social interactions. Committed to the development of international research community, Dragan had the pleasure to serve as a founding program chair of the International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK) in 2011 and 2012, general chair of LAK in 2016, a program chair of the Learning Analytics Summer Institute in 2013 and 2014, and a founding editor of the Journal of Learning Analytics (2012-2017). Dragan is a (co-)author of numerous research papers and books and a frequent keynote speaker.

Keynote speaker 2:

Prof. dr. Sanna Järvelä

Sanna Järvelä is a professor in the field of learning and educational technology and a head of the Learning and Educational Technology Research Unit (LET) (http://www.oulu.fi/let) in the Department of Educational Sciences, University of Oulu, Finland. Her main research interests deal with self-regulated learning, computer supported collaborative learning and on-line learning processes. She has been an associate editor of Learning and Instruction (2010-2014) and is currently is the associate editor of Frontline Learning Research and International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning. She is the EARLI president elect. Järvelä has published more than 100 scientific papers in international refereed journals and about 50 book chapters and three edited books. Professor Järvelä has been very successful in research training of PhDs of whom 16 (70 % female) have defended their dissertations under her supervision and 10 are currently busy. Research training is based on the systematic development of PhD students’ and post-doc researchers’ expertise in theoretical and methodological questions, as well as in international publishing in high impact factor journals and national, European and international research collaboration.

Panel speakers:

Bart Rienties

Dr. Bart Rienties is Professor of Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK. He is programme director Learning Analytics within IET and head of Data Wranglers, whereby he leads of group of learning analytics academics who conduct evidence-based research and sense making of Big Data at the OU. As educational psychologist, he conducts multi-disciplinary research on work-based and collaborative learning environments and focuses on the role of social interaction in learning, which is published in leading academic journals and books. More info at: www.bartrienties.nl

Justian Knobbout

Justian Knobbout is a researcher at Hogeschool Utrecht (HU), the Netherlands and PhD candidate in the field of learning analytics. His academic focus is on a Learning Analytics Capability Model, which helps educational institutes to gain sustainable benefits from learning analytics endeavours. Justian's practical research includes the implementation of small learning analytics projects at HU and the development of an institutional vision on this topic. Finally, he is lecturer Business Engineering, which helps to combine learning analytics theory and practice, providing valuable insights for both.

Dai Griffiths

Dai Griffiths is Professor of Education at the University of Bolton, and an Associate Member of Cetis LLP. He spent the first part of his career working as a teacher in primary, secondary and higher education, as well as in interpersonal skills training in industry, before becoming fascinated by the potential of computers in education. For the past twenty-five years he has worked as a multi-media developer and educational technology researcher. Over the past fifteen years a particular concern has been the development, use and implications of interoperability specifications for eLearning. In his work he seeks an understanding of education by bringing together the areas of pedagogy, technology and organisational structure, inspired by literature from the Cybernetics tradition. In recent years a particular focus of his work has been on with learning analytics, and he is actively engaged with xAPI.

Ian Dolphin

Ian Dolphin is Executive Director of the Apereo Foundation, a not-for-profit entity formed from the merger of the Sakai Foundation and Jasig in December 2012. Apereo supports the development and sustenance of innovative open source software in support of the academic mission. Together with its French partner, ESUP-Portail, the network Apereo represents encompasses over 150 higher educational institutions and commercial partners worldwide, with a strong presence in North America, South Africa, Japan and Europe. Apereo is a collegiate organisation with an elected Board of Directors.

Ian previously worked for the University of Hull, in the United Kingdom as Head of eStrategy, and for the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). As Head of eStrategy at the University of Hull, Ian’s responsibilities included the provision of strategic advice on information and communications technology direction, and managing the Hull’s Digital University Project. Whilst at the university, Ian was appointed to the board of directors of both Jasig and Sakai – the first person from outside North America to sit on either body. At the JISC - part of the Higher Education Funding Council structure in the UK overseeing national ICT infrastructure, services and innovation activity - Ian served as Director of the International e-Framework Partnership, involving higher education agencies in Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and as Director, Information Environment.

Ian has a background in teaching, but has been involved in the management and direction of ICT in education activities for over twenty-five years.

Stefan Mol

Stefan Mol is assistant professor in Organizational Behavior at the Amsterdam Business School of the University of Amsterdam and Co-founder of the Center of Job Knowledge Research. He received his Master's degree in psychology at the University of Amsterdam in 2000, and his PhD in psychology in 2007, at the Institute of Psychology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. His dissertation consists of four studies investigating expatriate selection practices and one study aimed at assessing the performance of police trainees in South-Africa. His research collaborations have appeared in the Asian Journal of Social Psychology (2003), the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology (2013), IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing (2015), Human Performance (2009), the International Journal of Intercultural Relations (2005), the International Journal of Knowledge and Learning (2012), the International Journal of Selection and Assessment (2009), the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (2005; 2016), the Journal of Global Mobility (2013), the Journal of Learning Analytics (2014; 2016), Organizational Research Methods (2017; 2017), and several handbooks. In addition, Stefan was involved in the EU-Funded Leonardo da Vinci Ontohr, Med-Assess (see www.med-assess.eu) and Ontotech projects. From 2013-2017 Stefan is serving on the Board of Management and Supervisory Board of the FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) Eduworks (see www.eduworks-network.eu) a project aimed at the socio-economic and psychological dynamics of labour supply and demand matching processes at aggregated and disaggregated levels. Finally, Stefan was involved in the coordination of university wide project aimed at establishing Learning Analytics at the University of Amsterdam from 2013-2016, and its successor from 2017-2018.

Nynke de Boer

Nynke de Boer is a project manager for innovation within education at SURF, the national collaborative organisation for ICT in Dutch higher education and research. Within SURF, she is responsible for the innovation projects Learning Analytics and Open Standards. Before working for SURF, Nynke worked in the field of computer-based testing for the last 20 years for both commercial businesses (Pearson VUE) as the Dutch government (College voor Toetsen en Examens). In her last role, she was responsible for the development and implementation of the testing system Facet, in use at all secondary schools (vo) and higher vocational institutes (mbo) in the Netherlands. Nynke holds a bachelor degree in Education for Mathematics and Physics.

Anne Boyer

Anne Boyer is a full time professor in computer science, at the Université de Lorraine, France. She leads a research team called KIWI (Knowledge, Information & Web Intelligence) at the LORIA laboratory (www.loria.fr). KIWI works on the automatic analysis of digital traces for diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive modeling of users behaviour. She chairs the national PIA 2 e-FRAN METAL research project dedicated to Learning Analytics development, and was the scientific coordinator of the ERASMUS+ D-Transform project on digital transition of higher education. She is involved in several projects dedicated to Learning Analytics in Higher Education such as the French PIA 2 e-education Pericles project or the PIA 2 DUNE EOLE. In November 2015, Anne Boyer has been elected President of the UNIT Foundation, dedicated to open education, Life Long Learning and open educational resources (www.unit.eu). She has been elected in last May first president of the ICDE Learning Analytics cluster. She is the (co-)author of numerous research papers and the co-founder of the Sailendra SAS company.

Fay Kartner

Fay Kartner works as a legal advisor at ICTRecht, specialising in privacy law. Fay also has experience as a lecturer in EU law at Radboud University Nijmegen.

Peter van Baalen

Peter van Baalen is a professor of Information Management and Digital Organization. He is researching and teaching about the impact of digital technologies on organizations, digital platforms, and digital transformation. Peter van Baalen is also director of the College of Economics and Business, and vice-provost of Innovation in Learning and Teaching of the University of Amsterdam.

Jocelyn Manderveld

Jocelyn Manderveld holds a master degree in educational psychology (1997). Since 2011, Jocelyn is working for SURFnet as a project manager, of various innovation projects as Learning Analytics, Research Support, Cloud Computing, Privacy & security. Besides her actvities for SURFnet she holds her own company (since 2007) where she works as a project manager and researcher for different (inter)national projects and organisations, she has a lot of expertise in the area of learning technology. She also worked at the Open University of the Netherlands (1998-2005) as an educational technologist, where she managed, designed, developed, and implemented several innovation projects. More information https://www.linkedin.com/in/jocelynmanderveld/

Anwar Osseyran

Prof.dr. Anwar Osseyran is the CEO of SURFsara BV and member of the Executive Board of SURF. He is also part-time Professor Business Analytics and Computer Science at the University of Amsterdam, Chair of the Partnership of Advanced Computing in Europe, Chair of the Advisory board of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, member of the of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Cyprus Institute for Supercomputing, member of the Executive Board of Nederland ICT, member of the Amsterdam sustainability Council and Chair of Green IT Consortium Amsterdam. He has worked before with various companies including Philips, Digital Equipment, HISCOM and Omron.

Overview Programme

Download Book of Abstracts

Pre-Conference Event IBIS

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#LSAC2017 results from the past 7 days.


Registration is possible from 1 August, 2017.

The full registration costs for the conference will be 95 euro. This includes the conference dinner, lunches and refreshments during the meeting. For PhD-students, a reduced fee of 45 euro applies.

Registration and payment: LSAC 2017 Tickets

Call for Abstracts

The organisers welcome abstracts or extended abstracts (max 1000 words) for the academic research parallel sessions and for the applied sessions. The applied sessions focus on practical problems, solutions and innovations related to the above-mentioned categories (privacy, designs and value of EWS, and LA dashboards).The academic submissions should be state-of-the-art learning and student analytics research. We encourage authors to target their abstracts at one of the intersections of the following Learning Analytics research spheres:

  1. Theory and methods
  2. Methods and data
  3. Theory and data

All abstracts will go through a blind peer-review process.




The address of the REC-A building is:
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam

More info

Hotel Information

For hotels, the UvA usually recommends these: Volkshotel, the Bridge Hotel, Casa 400 and Hampshire hotels.


This conference is organised by the Amsterdam Center for Learning Analytics (ACLA) and the Eduworks-Network

ACLA is devoted to improving education and labour market outcomes by adopting a comprehensive approach towards learning analytics. ACLA conducts research- and educational activities using and combining insights from information technology and computer sciences, theories of behaviour, learning and education, and rigorous empirical evaluation methods. In doing so, ACLA seeks to provide a fundamental scientific contribution and to structurally improve the quality of education and labour markets for current and future generations.

The objective of the EDUWORKS-Network is to train talented early-stage researchers in the socioeconomic and psychological dynamics of the labour supply and demand matching processes at aggregated and disaggregated levels. Understanding how the matching process works can prevent mismatches with respect to skills and qualifications, and can lead to an improved balance between the supply of and demand for labour. EDUWORKS brings together researchers from several academic disciplines. namely: Labour Economics, Sociology of Occupations, HRM, Lifelong Learning and Knowledge Management.

Organising and Programme committee:

Alan Berg
Dr. Ilja Cornelisz
Dr. Chris van Klaveren
Dr. Gábor Kismihók
Dr. Stefan T. Mol
Prof. Dr. Anwar Osseyran

Contact: LSAC.FGB@vu.nl