Practitioner Track

Research Track | Workshops & Tutorials | Posters & Demos | Doctoral Consortium

Practitioner Track Chairs

The primary goal of the Practitioner Track is to share thoughts and findings that stem from learning analytics project implementations in the hope that such conversations will contribute to a shared, discipline understanding of interventions, and the factors affording or constraining their success and take up. A significant portion of learning analytics work is spearheaded by practitioners who rely on informal pilot studies and iterative design-based research rather than traditional academic research. Both approaches help to improve the state of the art.

Suggested Topics

While submissions on all topics related to learning analytics will be considered, these topics are likely to prove most interesting to conference attendees:

  • Teaching innovation through the use of analytics: How have analytics enabled innovation in teaching practice and the learner experience?
  • The role of senior leadership in analytics: What critical role did leadership play in enabling (or obstructing) learning analytics? How was leadership engaged in the project?
  • Instructional/Educational designers: This community thinks in great depth about aligning pedagogy and assessment — where does analytics design fit?
  • Lessons learned:  after going through the project, what lessons were learned in:
    • planning/design: how was the project conceived, structured, and planned.  How did that planning support (or hinder) success of the project?
    • implementation: what factors surfaced that affected the success of the project?
    • outcomes: What were the stated measures of success of the project? Were they met during the implementation? Did other unexpected results appear?
  • Innovative new tools/techniques: Share newly developed tools or approaches to learning analytics that have been implemented at an institution. Reviewers will look for unique characteristics and at how deployment has influenced development.
  • Application of standards: A project making use of data/analytics standards and illustrating the benefits of such an approach.
  • Collaboration and sharing: How are groups of institutions/practitioners partnering to solve shared problems in the learning analytics space?
  • Solving a new problem: Traditional analytics approaches tackle questions like ‘Did the student master this topic?’ or ‘Will this student pass that class?’ Has the submission tried to answer a novel question in the learning analytics space?

Evaluation Criteria

We seek submissions that offer unique or distinct insight into intervention designs, and/or the processes surrounding their implementation. We recognise that valuable learning can be gleaned from interventions that have not achieved their goals, or were not implemented for various reasons, and therefore welcome submissions that focus on learning across interventions that are deemed to be successful and unsuccessful. The following criteria are provided to guide practitioners in the preparation of their submissions, and will guide reviewers when selecting submissions. However, they are not prescriptive, and we recognise that this list may not be applicable to all submissions.

  • Project overview: Context for the project, and its aims.
  • Implementation track record and overview: The project has been used by an institution or has been deployed on a learning site with students. The project’s context and aims are articulated. There are no hard guidelines about user numbers or how long the project has been running.
  • Learning/education related: The submission should describe work that addresses learning/academic analytics, either at an educational institution or in an area (such as corporate training, health care or informal learning) where the goal is to improve the learning environment or learning outcomes. Explication or hypotheses of how the intervention was to achieve its aims.
  • User involvement: Outline how key stakeholders were identified and involved in the intervention.
  • Impact and or evaluation: Is there an evaluation process? If not, what are difficulties in developing one? What are lessons that have been learnt from the project. Ideally, submissions should include information collected from people who have used the tool or initiative in a learning environment (such as faculty, students, administrators and trainees).
  • No sales pitches: Submissions from commercial suppliers are most welcome, but the focus of the submission should be on the challenges faced, problems that have arisen, and/or user feedback received.  Product marketing submissions will be rejected; become an LAK sponsor for an effective marketing channel!

Submission Types

Indicate in your submission whether you want your Practitioner Track submission to be considered a Practitioner Paper, Poster or Demo.

  • Long Practitioner Papers (8 pages max: 20 mins presentation, 10 mins Q&A) – Long Practitioner Papers are part of the main conference schedule and will be held in integrated sessions with research presentations.
  • Short Practitioner Papers (4 pages max: 10 mins presentation, 5 mins Q&A) – Short Practitioner Papers are part of the main conference schedule and will be held in integrated sessions with research presentations.
  • Posters and Demos(90 minutes) – See Submission Guidelines.


Review Process

Practitioner submissions will be reviewed by at least two reviewers chosen by the Practitioner Chairs. The reviews will be shared between the reviewers, pending final review by the Practitioner Chairs. Submissions with the highest evaluations will be accepted.

The five Practitioner Papers with the highest review rankings will be nominated for the ‘Best Practitioner Paper’, and identified in the Program and Proceedings. A committee formed from current and past LAK Program Chairs will select the winner, and the award will be made during the conference. Practitioners are of course also eligible for the Best Poster and Best Demo Awards.

At least one of the authors must register for the conference before a submission can be included in the Companion Proceedings.


Practitioner contributions will be published in the LAK18 Companion Proceedings, archived with open access on the SoLAR website.

Important Dates

  • 2 October 2017 (No extensions) – Submission Deadline
  • 20 November 2017 – Notification of Acceptance
  • 5 February 2018 – Final version for the Companion Proceedings