Call for papers: The 10th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK20)

Celebrating 10 years of LAK: Shaping the future of the field

23-27 March 2020, Frankfurt, Germany

The 2020 edition of The International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK20) will take place in Frankfurt, Germany. LAK20 is organised by the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) and hosted by Frankfurt Goethe-University in Germany with support from many European partners. LAK20 is a collaborative effort by learning analytics researchers and practitioners to celebrate and promote the achievements of the learning analytics community over the past ten years and to look forward to what lies ahead.

The tenth anniversary of the LAK conference celebrates the past successes of the learning analytics community and poses new questions and challenges for the field. The theme for this year is “Shaping the future of the field” and focuses on thinking how we can advance learning analytics and drive its development over the next ten years and beyond.

LAK conference is intended for both researchers and practitioners. We invite both researchers and practitioners of learning analytics to come and join a proactive dialogue around the future of learning analytics and its practical adoption. We further extend our invite to educators, leaders, administrators, government and industry professionals interested in the field of learning analytics and related disciplines.

Conference theme and topics

We welcome submissions from both research and practice, covering different theoretical, methodological, empirical and technical contributions to learning analytics field. Specifically, this year, we invite contributors to think about the implications and potential impact of the presented work for the next 10 years. In their contributions, we encourage authors to address some of the following questions:

  1. What are the practical and scholarly implications of the presented work for the next ten years?
  2. What are the challenges of the presented work we need to address to improve its impact in the next ten years?
  3. How can the presented work be practically implemented and adopted?

We also explicitly encourage research that validates, replicates and examines the generalisability of previously published findings, as well as the aspects of practical adoption of the existing learning analytics methods and approaches. Finally, we also invite authors to submit dedicated short research paper submissions (see below for details) that explicitly address the theme of this year’s conference.

Some of the topics of interest include, (but are not limited) are:

Capturing Learning & Teaching:

       Finding evidence of learning: Studies that identify and explain useful data for analysing, understanding and optimising learning and teaching.

       Assessing student learning: Studies that assess learning progress through the computational analysis of learner actions or artefacts.

       Analytical and methodological approaches: Studies that introduce analytical techniques, methods, and tools for capturing and modelling student learning.

       Technological infrastructures for data storage and sharing: Proposals of technical and methodological procedures to store, share and preserve learning and teaching traces.

Understanding Learning & Teaching:

       Data-informed learning theories: Proposals of new learning/teaching theories or revisions/reinterpretations of existing theories based on large-scale data analysis.

       Insights into specific learning processes: Studies to understand particular aspects of a learning/teaching process through the use of data science techniques.

       Learning and teaching modelling: Creating mathematical, statistical or computational models of a learning/teaching process, including its actors and context.

       Systematic reviews: Studies that provide a systematic and methodological synthesis of the available evidence in an area of learning analytics.

Impacting Learning & Teaching:

       Providing decision support and feedback: Studies that evaluate the impact of feedback or decision-support systems based on learning analytics (e.g., dashboards, early-alert systems, automated messages).

       Practical evaluations of learning analytics efforts:  Empirical evidence about the effectiveness of learning analytics implementations or educational initiatives guided by learning analytics.

       Personalised and adaptive learning: Studies that evaluate the effectiveness and impact of adaptive technologies based on learning analytics.

Implementing change in Learning & Teaching:

       Ethical issues around learning analytics: Analysis of issues and approaches to the lawful and ethical capture and use of educational data traces; tackling unintended bias and value judgements in the selection of data and algorithms; perspectives and methods for value-sensitive, participatory design that empowers stakeholders.

       Learning analytics adoption: Discussions and evaluations of strategies to promote and embed learning analytics initiatives in educational institutions and learning organisations.

       Learning analytics strategies for scalability: Discussions and evaluations of strategies to scale the capture and analysis of information at the program, institution or national level; critical reflections on organisational structures that promote analytics innovation and impact in an institution.

Conference tracks

The conference has three different tracks with different types of submissions. For more information about each track, see the submission guidelines page.

1. Research track

The focus of the research track is on advancing scholarly knowledge in the field of learning analytics through rigorous reports of learning analytics research studies. The primary audience includes academics, doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and other types of educational research staff working in different capacities on learning analytics research projects.

Submission types for the research track are:

       Full research papers (10 pages, ACM proceedings template) include a clearly explained substantial conceptual, technical or empirical contribution. The scope of the paper must be placed appropriately with respect to the current state of the field, and the contribution should be clearly described. This includes the conceptual or theoretical aspects at the foundation of the contribution, an explanation of the technical setting (tools used, how are they integrated into the contribution), analysis, and results.

       Short research papers (6 pages, ACM proceedings template) can address on-going work, which may include a briefly described theoretical underpinning, an initial proposal or rationale for a technical solution, and preliminary results, with consideration of stakeholder engagement issues. We also invite short papers that explicitly address the theme of this year’s conference by reflecting on past, present, and future research foci in the field of learning analytics, along with reflections on the role which LAK has played in shaping our research agendas.

       Research posters (3 pages, SoLAR companion proceedings template) represent a concise report of recent findings or other types of innovative work not ready to be submitted as a full or short research paper. Poster presentations are part of the LAK Poster & Demo session, and authors are given a physical board to present and discuss their projects with delegates. Alternatively, a poster submission may be work that you prefer to present interactively.

2. Practitioner track

The practitioner track is complementary to the research track and brings real-world experiences of adoption of learning analytics systems in education. Learning analytics practitioners include 1) policymakers, project managers, instructional technologists, analysts, learning designers and other non-research staff, 2) developers, designers, analysts, and other representatives from commercial and industrial entities, non-profit organisations, and government bodies.

Submissions for the practitioner track have a unique format which emphasises practical aspects of project implementations. More details around submission formats and preparing your practitioner submission will be available on LAK20 website. All accepted submissions to the practitioner track will be published in the LAK20 Companion Proceedings and archived on the SoLAR website.

Submission types for practitioner track:

       Practitioner reports  (4 pages, SoLAR companion proceedings template) include accounts and findings that stem from practical experience in implementing learning analytics projects. Practitioner reports are presented alongside research track submissions as part of the main conference. Some of the goals of practitioner presentations are to 1) contribute to the conversation between researchers and practitioners around adoption and implementation of learning analytics, 2) provide insights from practice around factors affording or constraining learning analytics adoption and implementation, and 3) present effective learning analytics adoption strategies and approaches.

       Practitioner posters (2 pages, SoLAR companion proceedings template) represent a concise description of a practical learning analytics project implementation which may not be ready to be presented as a practitioner report. Posters are presented during the LAK Poster & Demo session, and authors are given a physical board to present posters and discuss their projects with delegates. This type of submission is also prefered in cases where interactive presentation is more suitable for the particular project.

       Practitioner interactive demos (200 words abstract in SoLAR companion proceedings template + 5 min video) provide opportunities to communicate interactive learning analytics tools. Interactive demonstrations are part of the LAK Poster & Demo session, and presenters are given table space and demonstrate their latest learning analytics projects, tools, and systems. Use demos to communicate innovative user interface designs, visualisations, or other novel functionality that tackles a real user problem. Tools may be at an early concept demonstrator stage or relatively mature, all the way through to products. While LAK encourages participation from commercial analytics partners, interactive demos should be built around actual field experience, results, and feedback. Submissions for conceptual products or for products that have not been used by instructors and/or students are unlikely to be accepted.

3. Pre-conference event track

The focus of pre-conference events is on providing space for new and emerging ideas in learning analytics and their development. Events can have either research or practical focus and can be structured in the way which best serves their particular purpose.

The types of submissions for the pre-conference event track are:

       Workshops (4 pages, SoLAR companion proceedings template) provide an efficient forum for community building, sharing of perspectives, and idea generation for specific and emerging research topics or viewpoints. Proposals should be explicit regarding the kind of activity participants should expect, for example, from interactive/generative participatory sessions to mini-conference or symposium sessions.

       Tutorials (4 pages, SoLAR companion proceedings template) aim to educate stakeholders on a specific learning analytics topic or stakeholder perspective. Proposals should be clear what the need is for particular knowledge, target audience and their prior knowledge, and the intended learning outcomes.

Doctoral consortium

The doctoral consortium is a day-long workshop designed to support emerging scholars in learning analytics by helping them develop productive approaches to studying the intersection of theory, data, and practice. Doctoral Consortium participants will be given the opportunity to present, discuss, and receive feedback on their research in an interdisciplinary and supportive atmosphere, as well as build their professional network with leading researchers.

More details will be available on LAK20 website around submission lengths and formats of the different types of submissions.

Review process

LAK20 will use a double-blind peer review process for all submissions except doctoral consortium (as they include a letter of reference from the principal supervisor) and demos. An important aspect of this year’s review process is that LAK20 will have a rebuttal phase for full and short research papers in which authors will be given five days to respond to remarks and comments raised by reviewers in a maximum of 500 words. Rebuttals are optional, and there is no requirement to respond. Authors should keep in mind that papers are being evaluated as submitted and thus, responses should not propose new results or restructuring of the presentation. Thus, rebuttals should focus on answering specific questions raised by reviewers (if any) and providing clarifications and justifications to reviewers. Finally, the conference timeline allows for rejected submissions to be re-submitted in revised form as workshop papers.

Proceedings publication

Accepted full and short research papers will be included in the LAK20 conference proceedings published and archived by ACM. Other types of submissions (research posters, workshops, tutorials, and practitioner track submissions) will be included in the open access LAK companion proceedings, archived on SoLAR’s website. Please note at least one of the authors must register for the conference by the Early bird deadline before the paper can be included in the ACM Proceedings or LAK Companion Proceedings.

Important dates

Note: all dates are 23:59 GMT-12 (AOE Timezone)

Submission deadlines:

       1 Oct 2019: Deadline for full and short research papers, practitioner reports, and workshop/tutorial proposal submissions

       14 Oct 2019: Deadline for doctoral consortium submissions

       1 Nov 2019: Deadline for research and practitioner posters and interactive demo submissions

       15 Nov 2019: Deadline for full and short research paper rebuttal (submissions open 8 Nov 2019) submissions

       15 Dec 2019: Deadline for workshop paper submissions (submissions open 1 Nov 2019)

       20 Dec 2019: Deadline for camera-ready versions of all accepted submissions

Acceptance notifications:

       21 Oct 2019: Notification of acceptance for workshops and tutorials

       15 Nov 2019: Notification of acceptance for doctoral consortium

       1 Dec 2019: Notification of acceptance for full and short research papers, practitioner  reports, posters/demos

       5 Jan 2019: Notification of acceptance for workshop papers

Conference and registration dates:

       20 Jan 2020: Early-bird registration closes

       23-27 Mar 2019: LAK20 conference, Frankfurt, Germany

Further information

Visit for further details about the conference venue, organisers, keynotes, topics, submission guidelines and review process.

Kind regards,

Vitomir Kovanovic, Maren Scheffel, Niels Pinkwart, and Katrien Verbert
LAK20 Program Chairs