Last week it was my great pleasure to attend the latest SEEDs Conference(Southeast Educational Data Symposium) on behalf of MPOW. There was some fantastic speakers/panels on educational analytics technology, the state of higher education, and building business intelligence communities. Though I wanted to mention two speakers where the topics pertained specifically to librarians and librarianship writ-large.
The first I wanted to mention was the session from Bertha Adeniji* (The Adoption of Learning Analytics in Higher Education), which used bibliometrics to look at the research around learning analytics and its adoption in higher education. It was fascinating to see how young the fields is with the research really beginning around 2011 and still seemed in its infancy 2018. In an age of “big data” in many ways it seems like we are just beginning to look at how data can be used hack learning. (Also, the librarian in me loves bibliometrics.)
The second session that really grabbed my attention was the closing keynote by Dr. George Siemens** entitled Directions in Learning Analytics, which covered the past, current state and potential future for the field. Part of the presentation looked at the changing economic landscape and the need for workers to retrain to enter new fields, which would be accomplished not by getting a new degree, but by a micro program that accumulated all their prior knowledge alongside their new skillset. Dr. Siemens mentioned that we will move more toward life long learning and accrediting locally (maybe thru online badges). It made me think about libraries and librarianship again as in this burgeoning world there would need to be resources for those life long learners to build their knowledge and libraries have traditionally be part of this paradigm. If learners have to return to continue to build their skillsets they are going to need a guide a librarian could be that guide.
*A Phd student at the Palmer School of Library Information Science at Long Island University CW Post
**Dr. George Siemans, the founding president of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (http://www.solaresearch.org/)