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June 2015

Dr Kate Thompson will present "A multimodal method for analysing complex learning" as part of the program of events at the NSW Learning Analytics Working Group Meeting on June 30th. Her talk will take place on June 30th from 1.40-2.20pm, in the New Law School Lecture Theatre 106.

As the collection of ‘big data’ (in terms of both depth and breadth) becomes more common, it is increasingly important to adopt methods for sharing data, analysing common datasets, and making comparisons across studies. My work has focused on the analysis of the activity of learners. In doing so, I have applied the Activity-Centred Analysis and Design (ACAD) framework to structure the collection of multiple streams of data in order to apply multimodal learning analytics. I have then used the synthesis methodology (most commonly used in ecology), using the ACAD framework to guide this step, in order to understand the activity of learners in complex, collaborative learning environments in a way that can inform the assessment of learners and the redesign of learning materials. In this presentation, I will describe two projects, one the study of high-school students engaged in a collaborative design task about a local environmental issue, and the other, the long-term analysis of a group of students engaged in an online learning task.

The half day event includes a networking lunch, talks by Prof Adam Bridgeman and Dr Kate Thompson, and a plenary discussion titled "Academic analytics versus learning analytics – Rivals or complementary strangers?" More information, the full program and registration for the meeting is at

Join us on June 24th for Leading and managing a new vision for higher-education learning; linking curriculum, technologies and learning spaces, a Research on Learning and Education Innovation seminar with Shirley Alexander. This event is our last seminar in Semester 1.

Alexander100.jpgThe University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), where the presenter is Professor of Learning Technologies, is well advanced in its billion-dollar investment in its campus masterplan. Seminar attendees will be told how UTS developed its vision for the future of learning in higher education and the ways in which that vision influenced the design of the new learning spaces and the use of learning technologies.

The system of projects that were instigated to roll out that vision will be examined in light of the change-theory literature and used to reflect on successes, failures, and plans for the future.

Shirley Alexander is Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of Technology, Sydney where she is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice President (Education and Students). Professor Alexander's long-term research agenda has been on the effective use of information and communication technologies in learning in education.

This is our last seminar in Semester 1. Our next event is a special seminar on July 29 with Jimmie Leppink of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Details will be published, when available, on this blog, in the CoCo and STL newsletter, and on the CoCo website.

Join us on 17 June 2015 for "Developing student teachers’ digital competence in Norwegian teacher education - finding meaningful ways of teaching ESL with ICT", a Research on Learning and Education Innovation seminar with Fredrik Mørk Røkenes.


How are student teachers prepared to teach with ICT and what is the role of teacher education? Teacher education has been criticised for not sufficiently preparing student teachers to teach with ICT in new and innovative ways. In order to meet curricular demands and the expectations of the “New Millennium Learners”, teacher-education programs must prepare student teachers to teach with ICT in today’s technology-rich schools by developing their digital competence.

In this seminar visiting scholar Fredrik will present and discuss tentative findings from his ongoing PhD study which investigates postgraduate ESL student teachers’ digital-competence development in Norwegian teacher education. The study focuses on uncovering approaches used to prepare student teachers to teach ESL with ICT, and examines how these approaches are potentially enabled and inhibited in Norwegian teacher education. Digital storytelling will be used as an example to illustrate a didactical method for student teachers to integrate ICT in ESL teaching, and as a way for teacher-education programs to promote digital competence.

When: 11am–12.30pm (arrive 10.45am for refreshments)
Where: Room 221 ("Design Studio"), Education Building A35
More information at
This seminar will be live online at

Join us on June 10th for "Exploring the Upward and Downward Shifts of Student Mathematical Engagement", a Research on Learning and Education Innovation seminar with Janette Bobis.

This presentation reports on an intervention study aimed at improving middle year (Years 5–7) students’ engagement in mathematics. Motivation and engagement levels in mathematics were assessed prior to and at the completion of a year-long intervention for two different cohorts of students in 2012 (N=339) and 2013 (N=319) using the Motivation and Engagement Scale (Martin, 2008). While 2012 data found downward shifts in student engagement were generally abated and even reversed for some aspects, 2013 results revealed a greater mix of ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ in student engagement levels. Reasons for the variation in findings of the two cohorts are the subject for discussion in this presentation and future exploration.

Associate Professor Janette Bobis is a mathematics educator and researcher in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. She teaches in the areas of primary and early childhood mathematics education and curriculum studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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Research by the University's Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI).