Beyond Failure: The 2nd LAK Failathon Poster

Clow, Doug; Ferguson, Rebecca; Kitto, Kirsty; Cho, Yong-Sang; Sharkey, Mike and Aguerrebere, Cecilia (2017). Beyond Failure: The 2nd LAK Failathon Poster. In: LAK '17 Proceedings of the Seventh International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference, ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, ACM, New York, USA, pp. 540–541.



This poster will be a chance for a wider LAK audience to engage with the 2nd LAK Failathon workshop. Both of these will build on the successful Failathon event in 2016 and extend beyond discussing individual experiences of failure to exploring how the field can improve, particularly regarding the creation and use of evidence.

Failure in research is an increasingly hot topic, with high-profile crises of confidence in the published research literature in medicine and psychology. Among the major factors in this research crisis are the many incentives to report and publish only positive findings. These incentives prevent the field in general from learning from negative findings, and almost entirely preclude the publication of mistakes and errors. Thus providing an alternative forum for practitioners and researchers to learn from each other’s failures can be very productive. The first LAK Failathon, held in 2016, provided just such an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to share their failures and negative findings in a lower-stakes environment, to help participants learn from each other’s mistakes. It was very successful, and there was strong support for running it as an annual event. The 2nd LAK Failathon workshop will build on that success, with twin objectives to provide an environment for individuals to learn from each other’s failures, and also to co-develop plans for how we as a field can better build and deploy our evidence base. This poster is an opportunity for wider feedback on the plans developed in the workshop, with interactive use of sticky notes to add new ideas and coloured dots to illustrate prioritisation. This broadens the participant base in this important work, which should improve the quality of the plans and the commitment of the community to delivering them.

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