The overall goal of AFEL (Analytics For Everyday Learning) is to research and develop technologies and models that make it possible to apply analytics methodologies on informal learning surfaced in online social environments, from information capture to the use of visual analytics and the application of collaborationbased cognitive models of learning informed by social and web data, and finally to integrate those technologies and models into learning platforms currently in production that are used in real scenarios.
The general approach for the project naturally leads to three main objectives to be achieved by AFEL within its 36 months. These objectives are as follows:
- Develop the tools, techniques, and technologies to capture informal, implicit learning activities from online social systems: The aim here is to set up the technological grounds on which Analytics for Everyday Learning can rely. This includes providing the necessary data management infrastructure to ensure data availability and processability, the techniques and processes to extract and capture data from online social environments, the tools and methods to process, enrich and classify these data according to their value for learning analytics, for the project and the learning analytics/educational data mining communities in general.
- Develop methods and tools based both on cognitive models of learning and on visual analytics techniques to provide meaningful insight into informal and incidental learning behaviours: Relying on data captured out of web
and social environments. The challenge here is to come up with analytics models that can address the complex, open, and heterogeneous area of informal learning. The aim is both to extend existing cognitive models of learning and collaboration and visual analytics approaches to deal with such data, as well as to create new ones that should emerge from the concrete requirements of analysing data from online social environments.
- Demonstrate and exploit the developed techniques on real world, realistic social data and show the potential to improve informal/incidental learning: The aim here is to show the benefits of applying analytics on informal learning as it surfaces in online social environments, through demonstrating how the results of applying the techniques and models developed in the project in a certain environment could help improve the way in which this and other nvironments support informal learning activities and informal learners.
The AFEL Objectives and their interplay