In Monday 27 March 2017, AFEL coordinator Mathieu d’Aquin attended a participatory meeting at the European Commission in Luxembourg on “Digital Learning”. This workshop was a gathering of members of different units from the commission and numerous projects related to digital learning in general. Mathieu introduced AFEL to the other participants, including the members of projects focusing on resources, on specific learning contexts, audiences, tools, etc.
Besides the presentation of all those different projects, the most interesting part of the workshop was a clustering session where Mathieu led the group exploring, through lively discussions, the challenges, synergies and future directions of the area of Learning Analytics. Many of the challenges related to core aspects of AFEL, such as the difficulty of deploying analytics in areas of informal learning and soft skills, as well as to more general issues shared by various projects — namely ethics and privacy.
A key conclusion coming our of this session is the need for various projects in this area to come together to establish standards. Such standards should cover, of course, the data capture aspects of analytics, but also the usage of learning analytic (many of which were listed as part of the discussion, see below), as well as the practices involved in deploying and assessing the results of learning analytics. Several existing initiatives have been identified that already provide steps towards the creation of such standards, such as the release of the AFEL datasets, as well as privacy impact assessments.
Other groups in this session focused on Augmented Reality, Community Building, Gamification, and skills for STEAM.