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Learning Analytics Community Exchange (LACE)

URL for project website/blog:

What research questions the project addresses, aims & themes

As more data about learning, learners and their contexts becomes available, Learning Analytics (LA) and Educational Data Mining (EDM) offer great potential for learners, teachers, and the private sector. However, there is a risk that this will not be achieved: LACE aims to help Europe to realise this potential.

The LACE is working to integrate communities working on LA and EDM by sharing effective solutions to real problems, with particular focus on Schools, Universities and Higher Education, the Workplace, and interoperability.

How the research questions are addressed by the project (methodology and activity/environment)

 LACE’s work takes several forms:

  • Events: LACE organises its own events, and attends LA/EDM events organised by others, both online and face to face. These activities are designed to actively and passively integrate communities that are conducting LA/EDM research, early practitioner adopters, and those who are building first-generation commercial or open-source software. This integration is used to stimulate creativity and accelerate the identification of viable and effective solutions to real problems, and hence to drive both current research and technology transfer.
  • Publications: LACE is producing a wide range of publications to support LA/EDM and connect communities together, including Tweets, blog posts, newsletters, review papers and peer-reviewed articles.
  • Evidence Hub: LACE is building an Evidence Hub, a knowledge base of evidence organised around key propositions, to inform and structure the field.
  • Futures: LACE is participating in the exploration of plausible futures for learning analytics and EDM by combining the creation of imaginative scenarios with participatory workshops and structured methods including a Policy Delphi to assess differences of opinion about the feasibility and desirability of possible future states, thus informing future research and policy agendas
  • Partnership: LACE is building a network of Associate Partners, to bring together all those with an interest in LA/EDM.

Current activities

The LACE events programme is continually updated. The OU team are organising a SoLAR Flare event on 9th October 2015 for researchers, practitioners, developers and policy makers to meet and share understanding about Learning Analytics.

The project is producing more publications: posts on the project blog, newsletters, technical explorations on the Tech Focus Blog, an FAQ on learning analytics, and articles for the Learning Analytics Review series.

More entries for the Evidence Hub are being added, and the scope is being expanded to encompass more activity.

A large-scale Visions of the Future activity will take place in Autumn 2015, exploring with key stakeholders what could and should happen in LA/EDM in the coming years.

 Findings and outputs

Project impact

  • Large audience for newsletter and other publications
  • Positive engagement with practitioners and researchers through the events programme and toher activities.
  • Spring Briefing 2015 for European policymakers in Brussels
  • Evidence Hub
  • Network of Associate Partners

Publications (and ORO feed)

Rienties, B. and Rivers, B.A., Measuring and Understanding Learner Emotions: Evidence and Prospects, Learning Analytics Review, no. 1, December 2014, ISSN: 2057-7494.

Drachsler, Hendrik; Cooper, Adam; Hoel, Tore; Ferguson, Rebecca; Berg, Alan; Scheffel, Maren; Kismihók, Gábor; Manderveld, Jocelyn and Chen, Weiqin (2015). Ethical and privacy issues in the application of learning analytics. In: 5th International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference (LAK15): Scaling Up: Big Data to Big Impact, 16-20 March 2015, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA.

Ferguson, Rebecca; Cooper, Adam; Drachsler, Hendrik; Kismihók, Gábor; Boyer, Anne; Tammets, Kairit and Martínez Monés, Alejandra (2015). Learning analytics: European perspectives. In: 5th International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference (LAK15), 16-20 March 2015, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA , ACM.

Ferguson, Rebecca; Macfadyen, Leah P.; Clow, DougTynan, Belinda; Alexander, Shirley and Dawson, Shane (2015). Setting learning analytics in context: overcoming the barriers to large-scale adoption. Journal of Learning Analytics, 1(3) pp. 120–144.











People involved

Doug Clow

Rebecca Ferguson

Andrew Brasher

Simon Cross

Linda Norwood

Michelle Bailey

Nick Freear

Project partners and links

University of Bolton

Kennisnet Foundation



Infinity Technology Solutions

European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN)

Open University of the Netherlands



European Commission

Start Date and duration

1 January 2014 for 30 months