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Big Data Comes to School: Reconceptualizing Evidence and Research in the Era of Technology-mediated Learning
A seminar sponsored by the Bureau of Educational Research

Over the past century, the learning sciences have come to be defined by an array of experimental, survey and ethnographic methods. Recent literature on ‘big data’, however, suggests new possibilities for educational evidence and research in the era of digitally-mediated learning and the large amounts of data collected incidental to that learning. In this presentation, we set out to explore the consequences of big data for educational research practice. The presentation includes theoretical and practical perspectives. Theoretically, we argue that a new generation of ‘educational data sciences’ might require a reconceptualization of the nature of evidence of learning and the dimensions of our research practices. Practically, we will demonstrate some of the work we have been undertaking in the ‘Scholar’ project, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Dr. William Cope

Bill Cope is Professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies at the University of Illinois. He is Principal Investigator in a series of major projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences in the US Department of Education and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation researching and developing multimodal writing and assessment spaces. From 2010-2013 he was Chair of the Journals Publication Committee of the American Educational Research Association. Recent books include The Future of the Academic Journal, (with Angus Phillips, eds) Elsevier, Oxford, 2009/2nd edition 2014, and Towards a Semantic Web: Connecting Knowledge in Academic Research, (with Kalantzis and Magee), Elsevier, Oxford, 2010.

Dr. Mary Kalantzis
Mary Kalantzis is Dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and President of the Australian Council of Deans of Education. With Bill Cope, she is co-author of New Learning: Elements of a Science of Education, Cambridge University Press, 2008/2nd edition 2012 and Literacies, Cambridge University Press, 2012/2nd edition 2015; and co-editor of Ubiquitous Learning, University of Illinois Press, 2009.

A light lunch will be provided at 11:45 a.m.