Practitioner Track Proceedings of the 6th International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference (LAK16)

Ferguson, Rebecca; Sharkey, Mike and Mirriahi, Negin eds. (2016). Practitioner Track Proceedings of the 6th International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference (LAK16). Edinburgh, UK: Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR).



Practitioners spearhead a significant portion of learning analytics, relying on implementation and experimentation rather than on traditional academic research. Both approaches help to improve the state of the art. The LAK conference has created a practitioner track for submissions, which first ran in 2015 as an alternative to the researcher track.
The primary goal of the practitioner track is to share thoughts and findings that stem from learning analytics project implementations. While both large and small implementations are considered, all practitioner track submissions are required to relate to initiatives that are designed for large-scale and/or long-term use (as opposed to research-focused initiatives). Other guidelines include:
• Implementation track record The project should have been used by an institution or have been deployed on a learning site. There are no hard guidelines about user numbers or how long the project has been running.
• Learning/education related Submissions have to describe work that addresses learning/academic analytics, either at an educational institution or in an area (such as corporate training, health care or informal learning) where the goal is to improve the learning environment or learning outcomes.
• Institutional involvement Neither submissions nor presentations have to include a named person from an academic institution. However, all submissions have to include information collected from people who have used the tool or initiative in a learning environment (such as faculty, students, administrators and trainees).
• No sales pitches While submissions from commercial suppliers are welcome; reviewers do not accept overt (or covert) sales pitches. Reviewers look for evidence that a presentation will take into account challenges faced, problems that have arisen, and/or user feedback that needs to be addressed.
Submissions are limited to 1,200 words, including an abstract, a summary of deployment with end users, and a full description. Most papers in the proceedings are therefore short, and often informal, although some authors chose to extend their papers once they had been accepted.
Papers accepted in 2016 fell into two categories.
• Practitioner Presentations Presentation sessions are designed to focus on deployment of a single learning analytics tool or initiative.
• Technology Showcase The Technology Showcase event enables practitioners to demonstrate new and emerging learning analytics technologies that they are piloting or deploying.
Both types of paper are included in these proceedings.

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