LASI 2023: Learning how we can learn better

How do educational institutes assess and report data to optimise learning processes? What is the role and impact of analytics on the delivery of courses to students? These were among key topics in Learning Analytics (LA) that were covered at the three-day Learning Analytics Summer Institute (LASI) co-hosted by NUS Institute for Applied Learning Sciences and Educational Technology (ALSET) and the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) from 6 to 8 June 2023.

Known as SoLAR’s most significant event for advancing the field of LA worldwide, LASI brings together academics and educational administrators to cultivate a deeper understanding of the methodologies, ways of thinking, and values behind core issues within the LA community. Held in North America annually since its inaugural edition in 2013, LASI 2023 marked the first time the event has been held outside of America, a validation and acknowledgement of the work done in the field of LA in Singapore.

In his keynote address, Guest-of-Honour NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye shared his personal interest in LA. He also elaborated on the ways NUS has endeavoured to use LA in teaching and learning, and how LA have supported initiatives for student learning and development.

LASI 2023 featured keynote talks, a panel discussion, as well as a series of tutorials and workshops that covered a wide range of topics such as dashboard design for learning analytics, designing learner-centred feedback through learning analytics, and analytics of self-regulated learning. Close to half of the 110 participants this year hailed from educational institutes overseas, and the remainder from various institutes of higher learning in Singapore.

Additionally, participants enthusiastically took in insights from a panel discussion on the role of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) as well as on how LA will facilitate lifelong learning. The panel was helmed by Professor Rebecca Ferguson, Professor of Learning Futures in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at The Open University, UK; Professor Abelardo Pardo, Professor and Dean of Programs (Information Technology and Mathematics) at UniSA STEM, University of South Australia; Dr Edna Chan, Centre Director, Data Science and Analytics Centre, Singapore Polytechnic; and Dr Tan Teck Kiang, Senior Research Fellow at NUS ALSET.

The panel discussion was moderated by Professor Dragan Gašević, Distinguished Professor of Learning Analytics and the Director of the Centre for Learning Analytics at Australia’s Monash University. Prof Gašević is also widely considered a pioneer and leading researcher in LA, and founder and past President of SoLAR.

The panellists led an enlightening discussion on the role of generative Artificial Intelligence in education, as well as how LA could facilitate lifelong learning. Dr Chan and Dr Tan also shared about the initiatives that Singapore and NUS have embarked on in this regard, such as the development of SkillsFuture and the Learning Institute, as well as how LA extends beyond traditional Institutes of Higher Learning into continuing and lifelong education and workforce development.

"As a workshop leader at LASI, I valued the extensive networking opportunities and found the variety of insights from attendees truly enriching, underscoring the high quality of this event,” said Dr Ioana Jivet, Secretary of the SoLAR executive committee and Associate Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education.

The affirmatory sentiments were also echoed by Dr Nachamma Sockalingam, Programme Director of the Learning Sciences Lab at the Singapore University for Technology and Design. “There were some great discussions at the recent LASI 2023 keynotes and panel discussions about shaping the future of education using Learning Analytics,” she said. “I found the workshops to be very useful!”

By NUS Institute for Applied Learning Sciences and Educational Technology