I’ve just had the good news that a paper based on my summer project, Can you tell if they’re learning?, (co-written with my supervisors) has been accepted as a short paper at ICALT2015. The conference takes place at the start of July in Hualien City, Taiwan – about 10,000 km from home. Here’s the abstract:
The proliferation of Web-based objects designed for learning, makes finding and evaluating online resources a considerable hurdle to overcome. While established Learning Analytics methods use Web interaction data as proxies for learner engagement, there is uncertainty regarding the appropriateness of these measures. In this paper we propose a method for evaluating pedagogical activity in Web-based comments using a pedagogical framework, and present a preliminary study using this approach that assigns a Pedagogical Value (PV) to each comment. This has value as it categorises discussion in terms of focus on pedagogical activity rather than interaction on the Web. Using the DiAL-e Framework we code a selection of comments associated with learning objects within a Massive Open Online Course and test the resulting Pedagogical Value against established Language Analysis and Learning Analytics methods. Results show that PV is distinct from typical interactional measures; there are negative or insignificant correlations with established Learning Analytics methods, but strong correlations with linguistic indicators of pedagogical activity. This suggests that adopting pedagogical frameworks may produce more accurate measures of pedagogical activity than interaction analysis, and that linguistic rather than interaction analysis has the potential to automatically identify learning behaviour.
Obviously I’m looking forward to interacting with key academics in the field of technology in education, but I also hear that the surfing’s quite good. What’s not to like?