Welcome to the first of a series of Blogs featuring 2017/2018 Masters projects on Education and Technology supervised at the UCL Knowledge Lab (partner and coordinator of iRead). Each of the projects featured has focused on a key research area of iRead.
My bachelor’s degree was on Early Childhood Education. While working in several educational environments practising formal and nonformal education, I got interested in alternatives ways of teaching and learning. Soon after, I started my masters in Education and Technology (UCL). During my masters degree, I focused on the role of learning analytics in classroom orchestration, taking Kinems’ technology as a case study for my dissertation project. I am interested in the future of learning with a passion for the integration of new technologies in the classroom and the facilitation of educators’ everyday practice through technology.
My research engaged with the widely acknowledged problem in the educational technology field regarding the slow adoption and integration of educational technologies in the everyday educational practice. In particular, it focused on the potential of the design of learning analytics embedded in a gesture-based technology in supporting the mainstream educator in classroom orchestration and its potential in favouring adoption. Despite the width of theoretical work on the matter, there is less work on approaches that stem from inner stakeholder communication, for example active teachers and researchers/designers.
In an attempt to inform the design of learning analytics features with the previously established theoretical knowledge through close interaction with active educators, the study employed an educational design research approach with a design thinking methodology. It explored along with educators whether and to what degree the existent analytics features of the Kinems platform were perceived as supportive and helpful towards the classroom orchestration aspects. Having identified additional needs from the educators’ part, the study proceeded to the investigation of additional learning analytics features supportive of this process. These features were designed and got embedded in an interactive prototype that was further evaluated by educators through scenarios of use (see Figure below).
Nine primary school educators participated in the research study. They took part in two sessions. The first session included an interaction with the technology and a one-to- one interview and brainstorming. The second session included interaction with the designed prototype and evaluative interview.
Key Highlights from Research
The propositions made through the study show that:
- Learning analytics features should be designed in a way that minimises the “costs” such as the time and effort of the educator.
- Provides educators with awareness of the state of all students and also each student individually.
- Facilitates the transferability of the data extracted from the technology to other practices of the teacher and the classroom ecosystem.
For a copy of the thesis you can email Christina at firstname.lastname@example.org
Relevance to iRead
In the iRead project data from the games and the Reader app will be visualised to form a learning analytics tool that will allow the teacher to orchestrate the use of these technologies (Work package 4).
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