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Back Data science may contribute relevant information to improve learning

(Text taken from the original UPF news available here)

In recent years the use of big data to extract relevant information has been applied to a growing number of scientific fields. In the context of education, the use of technology to take part in the performance of activities in learning environments and software tools for the design of activities enable collecting a large amount of data of the interactions between students and teachers. Research into the analysis of learning and educational data science serve to understand and improve the quality of learning experiences.

Thus, this field is undergoing a phase of expansion and data are used for multiple purposes, such as to understand the causes of academic failure and to intervene in time. The Interactive and Distributed Technologies for Education research group (TIDE), directed by Davinia Hernández-Leo in UPF’s Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC), is investigating how the data obtained in the field of education may be useful to reflect on the impact of  the application of active learning methods (e.g., collaborative learning) and how these data can be used to improve and re-design learning activities.

ILDE, a social platform for educational design

The TIDE research group has led the creation of a social platform for educational design. The platform is called ILDE, from the English acronym Integrated Learning Design Environment and integratesconceptualization, implementation and authorship tools. The conceptualization tools allow analysing the needs of educational situations; the authorship tools, the creation of activities following various methods of teaching and learning; and the implementation tools, the implementation of the activities with students using virtual learning environments.

The platform includes data from the actions of teachers and students and generates analytical displays of various kinds: from analyses of community to analyses of learning. The usefulness of these analyses is being investigated in the framework of the educational communities at two Catalan schools (Ginebró and Dolmen) and two teacher-training programmes, including a MOOC on “Innovative Collaborative Learning with ICT”.

This line of research is leading to several scientific publications, such as the research just published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, in the framework of the doctoral thesis by Konstantinos Michos, which shows that the analysis of teachers’ actions on the ILDE platform is useful to improve the collective knowledge about the educational design that takes place in a community or school.

The paper proposes a panel of analytical displays (inILDE) based on the Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). The panel displays the users’ interactions with the learning designs, other members of the community and with the tools available on the platform. The improvement of this collective knowledge in the framework of a learning community allows, for example, identifying opportunities for collaboration among teachers, reflection on the methodologies used, and the reuse of educational design ideas among members of the community.


Reference article:

Michos, K. & Hernández-Leo, D., (2018) Supporting awareness in communities of learning design practice, Computers in Human Behavior, 85, August 2018, 255-270, 10.1016 / j.chb.2018.04.008.

Other reference article: 

Hernández-Leo, D., Asensio-Pérez, J. I., Derntl, M., Pozzi, F., Chacon-Perez, J., Prieto, L. P., & Persico, D. (2018), "An Integrated Environment for Learning Design", Frontiers in ICT, 5, 9. doi: 10.3389/fict.2018.00009.

Hernández-Leo, D., Martinez-Maldonado, R., Pardo, A., Muñoz-Cristóbal, J. A., & Rodríguez-Triana, M. J. (in press), "Analytics for learning design: A layered framework and tools", British Journal of Educational Technology