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19 April 2012 / erikduval

Research2.0 and Learning Analytics at ITK12 – Finnish DNA?

It was a great privilege and a lot of fun to do two talks at the ITK 2012 conference at Hämeenlinna, Finland, 19 April 2012.

After my keynote this morning, we had a nice discussion session – I always cherish these opportunities for interaction. What struck me deeply is that nobody seemed to be very worried about privacy and big brother aspects. I had some follow-up conversations and it seems that people here are more relaxed about tracking, given that what is tracked by whom and what for is transparent – which is precisely how I think about it, and very different from the reactions I often get… Maybe I have some Finnish DNA?

Someone (sorry, I’m really bad with remembering names!) also pointed out that the tracking we do, and the analysis of the traces we collect, is something that educational researchers have been doing for many years. The difference is that it used to be very hard and could only be done after the course finished. The result typically ended up in a research paper. Neither the teacher nor the student would ever see it. Or, if they did, it would be way too late to use the information to adapt their behavior in class. Now, with the tools we have, you can see the data in real time, and reflect on your actions. That is very beneficial on the meta-cognitive level and it so helps to make the experience more useful and relevant. Again: exactly right, in my view…

Oh, and by the way, I don’t know of many other conferences that are opened by the organizers performing as a band. Or where the keynoters get a hat to wear throughout the conference – including the minister of education 😉 I guess it must be the Finnish way. I like it. Lots.


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