Unintended consequences of mainstreaming of technology-enhanced learning

Monday, June 3 9:00h @ Austro Hall


Through the general pressure of the so-called “digital society” the political and societal expectations for „digital education“ are increasing and we are entering a mode of mainstreaming of technology-enhanced learning in Europe. This mainstreaming confronts the community of researchers in the field of technology-enhanced learning with several challenges and open questions that also touch many aspects of the core identity of the TEL domain. In the keynote talk, I will question a number of assumptions and challenges that are coming with this mainstreaming. These challenges are ethical, related to inclusion and question our current understanding of interdisciplinarity.


Marco Kalz is a full professor of technology-enhanced learning at the Heidelberg University of Education. He is also affiliated to the UNESCO chair of open education of the Open University of the Netherlands. His research interest lies on the use of open education, pervasive technologies and formative assessment to support self-directed lifelong learning. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. Marco is a fellow of the Interuniversity Center for Educational Sciences (ICO) and the Dutch research school on information and knowledge systems (SIKS). He is elected president of the European Association of Technology-Enhanced Learning (EA-TEL), director of the study program on E-Learning and Media Education, co-director of the Education for Sustainable Development Center and board member of the International Alliance to Advance Learning in the Digital Era. Over the last 5 years he could secure approx. 2 Mil EUR of research funding for his institution. Besides European projects he was and is regularly involved in educational innovation projects with partners inside and outside of his institutions.
Marco Kalz
Professor, Heidelberg University of Education, Germany


Innovating pedagogy: enhancing learning

Tuesday, June 4 9:00h @ Austro Hall


From educational radio and television, through virtual learning environments, to facial recognition of students and hologram lecturers – when people think of innovation in education, they tend to think of the technology used to deliver it. This technology has helped to extend access to education, but technology alone cannot bring about deep and sustained improvements in the quality of learning. The Innovating Pedagogy reports shift the emphasis towards developments in pedagogy: identifying new forms of teaching, learning and assessment. These innovations can be used to help learners deal with a changing world in which they need to make sense of increasing amounts of data and information, and make the most of their opportunities to make global connections. In her keynote, Rebecca Ferguson will talk about new and updated pedagogies, the ideas that connect them and the skills that support them. Some of these approaches extend current practice, some personalise it, some enrich it and others explore new possibilities that have opened up in the past decade.


Rebecca Ferguson is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at The Open University in the UK, where she works on the Masters in Online and Distance Education (MAODE). Her primary research interests are educational futures and how people learn together online. She is lead author of the Innovating Pedagogy reports. This highly cited series of high-profile annual reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment in order to guide educators and policy makers around the world.

Rebecca has been a pedagogic adviser to the FutureLearn MOOC platform since its foundation, supporting its development of conversational learning. Her extensive experience of MOOC development and evaluation provides a firm basis for her research on learning at scale. She is one of the coordinators of the FutureLearn Academic Network, linking academics from over 160 partner institutions around the world. She is also an executive member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research and a leading member of the international learning analytics community. Her work has been influential in shaping the field, supporting implementation across Europe, and promoting a focus on social learning analytics.

Rebecca Ferguson
Senior lecturer, The Open University, United Kingdom


Highlights of the European agenda for teaching and learning with digital technologies

Wednesday, June 5 14:00h @ Palazzo Ex-Poste


The keynote will cover some highlights of the European agenda for teaching and learning with the focus on the use of digital technologies. Through examples of the Joint Research Centre’s work to support the Member States in their implementation of digital competence in their agendas (e.g. DigComp framework, SELFIE), the presentation will illustrate how the so called “Open method of coordination” works in the field of education and training. On the other hand, the presentation will also evoke interesting research questions that will help European Union to reach its goals for the future (e.g. AI in Education, digital networks to support on-the-job-training).
See also: Digital Education Action Plan and JRC work.


Dr. Riina Vuorikari joined the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission in July 2013. She contributes to research and policy support in the field of digitalisation of education and training, and is interested in innovation in education. Her work focuses on Digital Competence for Citizens and Teacher Professional Development, especially through teacher networks. Her new themes cover areas such as Educational Makerspaces and AI in Education, but also impact evaluations.

Riina has degrees in education (M.Ed in 1998 in Finland) and hypermedia (DEA in 1999 in France). Her PhD, which was completed in 2009, is from the Dutch research school for Information and Knowledge Systems. Since 1999, she has worked in the field of digital education. Her main interest is dealing with issues related to the adoption of new technologies and innovation in education. Before joining the JRC in Sevilla, she worked as a Project Manager and Research Analyst. Many of her clients were based in Brussels, including educational organisations such as European Schoolnet, and national and regional education authorities (e.g. Ministry of Education).

She is part of the Eurostat Working Group on Information Society Statistics and contributes to ITU’s Expert Group on ICT Household Indicators. She is also active in the field of academia: a member of the programme committees for conferences (e.g., ICCE; ICWL; ICALT; ICSLE) and for various workshops in the field. She is a reviewer for research journals (e.g., Computers in Human Behaviour; Journal of Computing in Higher Education; IEEE Transactions on Education; IEEE MultiMedia, Computers & Education; Computer Journal; and International Journal of Learning Technology) and invited speaker for interventions.

Riina Vuorikari
Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission


From Oysters to Pearls: Key Strategies for Communicating Learning Analytics Insights

Thursday, June 6 9:00h @ Austro Hall


Learning Analytics (LA) innovations offer exciting opportunities for enhancing technology-enhanced learning and teaching. From a human-centred learning analytics perspective, making sense of the vast quantities of educational data now available is of utmost importance. However, data can get easily stripped from its context. This can potentially lead to making spurious assumptions or building rather complex learning analytics representations. Emerging educational dashboards and visualisations are already exposing critical design challenges that may often be trivialised but can negatively impact the successful adoption and use of these LA innovations. Empirical evidence already shows that ‘usable’ and visually appealing visualisations, or even visualisations that invite users to explore data, are not necessarily effective from an educational perspective.

Since an educator’s interpretation of visualised data is essentially the construction of a narrative about student progress, this talk will focus on the concept of “Educational Data Storytelling” as an approach for explaining student data by aligning educational visualisations with the intended learning design. In this talk we will use the metaphor of coming “from oysters to pearls” as a way to explain key strategies for creating LA innovations that communicate insights. This talk will also cover key literature in the areas of information visualisation and human-computer interaction, which is relevant for designing effective educational technologies. We will also analyse examples that may be useful for a wide range of purposes related to communicating insights based on educational evidence.


Dr Roberto Martinez-Maldonado is a full-time researcher at the Connected Intelligence Centre (CIC) and data visualisation lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. He has a background in Computing Engineering. His areas of research include Human-Computer Interaction (HCI, CSCW), Learning Analytics, Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED, EDM) and Collaborative Learning (CSCL). In the past years, his research has focused on applying data mining techniques to help understand how people learn and collaborate in collocated environments, empowering people with emerging technologies such as interactive surfaces, combining available technologies for capturing traces of collaboration and helping teachers to orchestrate their classroom through the use of interactive devices and learning analytics innovations. Recently, he was program co-chair of the research and industry track program of the International Conference of Artificial Intelligence in Education 2018.
Roberto Martinez-Maldonado
Researcher, University of Technology Sydney, Australia


AI changes everything – why AI will change online learning and its design

Friday, June 7 9:00h @ Austro Hall


As AI becomes normal on the delivery of online Learning, the skills of learning designers will have to change. Donald will show, using real examples, why AI will change the nature of work, therefore what we learn, why we learn and how we learn.


Donald Clark is an EdTech Entrepreneur, CEO, Professor, Researcher, Blogger and Speaker. He was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, which established itself as the leading company in the UK online learning market, floated on the Stock Market in 1996 and sold in 2005. As well as being the CEO of Wildfire an AI-driven learning company, he also invests in, and advises, EdTech companies.

Describing himself as ‘free from the tyranny of employment’, he is a board member of AI focussed companies Cogbooks and LearningPool. He is also a Visiting Professor and involved in research into AI in learning. He has worked in schools, vocational, higher, corporate and adult learning, delivering real projects to real learners.

Donald has over 30 years experience in online learning, games, simulations, semantic, adaptive, chatbot, social media, mobile learning, virtual reality and AI projects. He has designed, delivered and advised on online learning for many global, public and private organisations. He is an evangelist for the use of technology in learning and has won many awards, including the first ‘Outstanding Achievement in E-learning Award’ and ‘Best AIM Stock Market Company’, ‘Most Innovative Online Product’ (for WildFire), ‘Best Online Learning Project (for WildFire)’ and ‘JISC EdTech Award’ (for WildFire).

An award winning speaker at national and international conferences, he has delivered keynotes in Europe. US, Africa, Australia, Middle and Far East.

Donald Clark
EdTech Entrepreneur, CEO, Professor, Researcher, Blogger and Speaker, UK