Wednesday

7:00 – Breakfast, Tejas Dining Room
8:15 – Opening Remarks

webblueKelly IMG 007 Kelly Gaither
Kelly is the Director of Visualization and a Senior Research Scientist at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. She leads the Centers efforts in visualization, including scientific and information visualization, scalable visualization technologies and visualization interfaces and applications.
8:30 – Beyond Analytics: Sensemaking with Data

images George Siemens
We are in the data age. And it has only just begun. The growing scope of data collection – through sensors, internet of things, and wearable computing – now leaves few areas of human existence private. Advances in computation and analysis methods enables organizations to gain new insights into existing data. Unfortunately, access to data, and even analysis, is not sufficient in understanding complexity. A sensemaking approach is needed where technology, analytics, visualization and human cognition sit at a nexus point. This presentation argues for data analytics and visualization, in the context of human cognition, as a new research and sensemaking lens to enable greater understanding of learning, cognition, and knowledge organizations.
9:15 – Ethical, Privacy and Security Concerns

stylesFreedman Picture Kathleen Styles
Protecting Privacy in a World of Big Data

Researchers, policy makers, and commercial entities all hope to harness the power of big data. At the same time privacy advocates — and increasingly legislators ­ worry about how we preserve privacy in a world where everyday processes and objects record data about us. This presentation will provide a brief history of privacy, review some current events specific to privacy in the education sector, and offer some observations for the future of privacy in the world of big data.

Gordon Freedman
Privacy Versus Access & Transparency

Two National Laboratory for Education Transformation (NLET) initiatives will be discussed surrounding access to student data and public data transparency: (1) Building regional education “data trusts” to manage the multitude of school, agency and student data issues, (2) the visualization of aggregated regional data sets to help policymakers, educators and families better understand their regional data landscapes. The ethical question of who has access to student and family data and for what purposes is a multi-agency hot button. Often institutions and agencies invoke privacy rules strictly, seemingly cutting off the power of data to help students progress. The way around this dilemma is for students and their families to grant permission to certain data through the MyData initiative, while also having the benefit of more public visualizations of overall data trends. The tradeoff between personal and pubic data use and privacy is being explored as part of a NSF grant (Building Community Capacity for Data Intensive Research “BCC”) received by the University of California Santa Cruz in partnership with the National Laboratory for Education Transformation.

10:30 – Coffee Break
10:45 – Using Data Visualization in Educational Research

john Tom McTavish
Seeing Educational Data in the Digital Ocean

In the first part of this talk I will discuss the importance of “seeing” the new educational data around us and reconsider our analytic assumptions. If you don’t see it, you cannot analyze it. The increase of digital devices in natural daily activity concomitantly increases our ability to unobtrusively collect and analyze natural performance data. This leads to a potential wealth of informative data we call the digital ocean. It stands in contrast to the digital desert of earlier times, in which data was expensive and often had to be collected in sequestered settings such as tests or intrusive short term research projects. New experiences are generating new data that lead to potential new understandings. In the second part of the talk, I will describe motivations for having highly visual (and interactive) approaches to analytics and give examples of how “seeing” the data through visualization is not only valuable, but essential.
imgres Taylor Martin
The Role of Visualization in Research into Learning in Online Environments

In this talk, I will present how visualization played a major role in our research in two major STEM learning areas: children’s learning of rational number and adolescents’ learning of programming. The online learning environments we have created to enable this work are Refraction and IPRO. A novel challenge working with these new and often large datasets presents is that of simply understanding what is going on. Before, we could run descriptive statistics and create a few graphs and get a decent grasp of key variables, general trends, and interesting possibilities. With the new datasets, we have too many variables and often have time dependencies that make basic types of visualizations inadequate for our research purposes. I will present how we used visualization in coming to initial understanding of what was going on in our datasets, and in refining our work as we progressed.

Marni Baker-Stein
Brian Dashew
Sean York
Visualizing Knowledge Networks in Online Courses

This session will present a new learning analytics framework for understanding social and knowledge networking behaviors in online courses. Methodologies include social graph analysis, virtual ethnographic method, Natural Language Processing, and visualization techniques. Discussion will also explore topologies of social knowledge networks; the impact of design, instructional, and platform technology factors on the spread and swell of course conversations; and possible correlations among social engagement, activity design, student and instructor strategies, and course content. Questions addressed in the presentation include: How do instructor and student strategies, technology platform, and activity design impact the quality and trajectory of threaded discussions? How can the visualization of the social experience in online courses help us to reveal what has traditionally been hidden in both online and face-to-face learning environments? What does the presented framework imply for future research directions in social learning and knowledge production?
12:00 – Lunch (Sponsored by Tableau)
Tableau

Nick Petersen
Driving results using data visualization

From research to policy, there is an increasing need to understand and translate data to make informed decisions . In higher education, administrators are requiring more analysis to answer questions and drive change. Similarly, researchers and academic centers are looking for tools and methods to communicate complex models with broader audiences. To meet the demand, dynamic and adaptive tools have been adopted to enable decision makers, business analysts, and researchers to look at the data and results, and communicate with target audiences. In this session, we will review the direction of data visualization, how it can be used for improving decision making and business processes, and how Tableau has been a leader in this field. Specifically, this session will review an example of how Tableau has helped education institutions understand admissions data and follow students through the educational lifecycle.
1:00 – Using Data Visualization for Policy

IMG_9552b Miguel Encarnacao
Analytics Literacy through Visualization: “Involve Me and I’ll Understand”

The importance of data analytics is undisputed within the educational and assessment community and is gaining momentum in many other industry sectors. While data analytics has been focusing on ensuring statistical validity as well as reporting predictive information to institutional customers, there is an increasing demand for providing actionable information to institutions and individuals. Such actionable information requires a new and inclusive approach to how data is made accessible, in order to allow for the end-user to perceive relevance and ownership of the data provided. By doing so, users can explore data and information from various sources beyond just consuming predictive and prescriptive reports. However, most customers currently do not have the awareness and literacy around effective analytics tools, technologies, and techniques to support such an inclusive approach. To remedy this, we need to develop the analytics literacy of the customer and market we are trying to serve with information and insights.
MarderHeadShot2011a Mike Marder
Visualizing Effects of Poverty on Education

Several visual representations of educational outcomes will be discussed, with an emphasis on correlations between poverty concentration and test scores in secondary schools. One of the representations is a flow plot, suggested by fluid mechanics, that displays the way that students with similar starting points move through the educational system. Marder will show that this representation identified Texas’ Student Success Initiative, a major educational program from more than a decade ago, and showed that it produced large student benefits, although the official Texas evaluation concluded that the program had not succeeded.
2:00 – Coffee Break
2:15 – Tools for Data Visualization in Education

Stephanie A. Bond Huie
Informing Policy Decisions Through Data Visualizations

Presenting data in a more visual way enhances transparency and accountability efforts. Data combined with the right tools should lead to explanations and discovery. To ensure your visualization will be the most effective, it is essential not only to understand the data you have and determine what the message is you want to convey, but to take into consideration exactly who the audience is you want to reach. Selecting the right visualization is key to making data informative, as well as understandable. The University of Texas System has been actively cultivating a data culture for more than ten years. During the last four years, we have moved aggressively away from printed reports and static PDFs toward more interactive tools, which make data more compelling and more useful to consumers. SAS Visual Analytics (VA), our newest tool, is more visually pleasing and makes it easier for non-programmers to manipulate and analyze data. We most recently used VA in the development of seekUT, our interactive post-graduation earnings tool. VA also makes the data available offline via an app for tablet devices.
Eric Newburger
Eric Newburger is the Assistant to the Associate Director of Communications and one of the leads of the Census Bureau’s effort to use the power of data visualization to open its data sets to a broader public. For more than 15 years he has been a statistician with the Census Bureau, publishing on subjects from educational attainment, to computer and Internet use, to voting. He has been designing data displays professionally for nearly 30 years, having begun as a teenager in a family business publishing guides to medical services in the Washington, DC, metro area.
Nick Petersen
Measuring The Student Life Cycle: Evaluating the Student Journey in Education
There are many stages in a students engagement with their education institution. These stages don’t happen in silos. Nor, do they start on the first day of class and end on graduation. During this session, we will review examples of how using Tableau has helped understand the full lifecycle of students, from pre-admissions to post graduation relationships.
4:15 – Closing Remarks

Resta Headshot B&W2 Paul Resta
Paul E. Resta holds the Ruth Knight Milliken Centennial Professorship in Learning Technology. His work focuses on the research and development of web-based learning environments, computer-supported collaborative learning strategies and tools, and technology and teacher professional development.He currently serves as President of the International Jury for the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Prize for ICT in Education.