Highlights from the 2017 ICDE Leadership Summit


The 2017 ICDE Leadership Summit was hosted by UNIT at its LORIA Labs in Nancy, France from 22-23 May.

Almost 100 leaders in education, particularly those who have an interest in learning and teaching in the digital age and learning analytics gathered together for the 2017 ICDE Leadership Summit hosted by LORIA at Université de Lorraine. It was organised back to back with a one day Forum “Visionary Leadership for Digital Transformation”, taking place the day after the Summit at the UNESCO Head Quarters in Paris, organised by ICDE, UNESCO and the project D-Transform. 

These two combined events offered a rare opportunity to explore in depth the strategic main issues for higher education leaders setting course for quality teaching and learning in a time of digitalisation.The days before the Summit, D-Transform organised its last leadership school.

The summit theme for the 2017 ICDE Leadership Summit ‘Leadership: when transforming education through learning analytics and adaptive learning’ sought to reflect on how pedagogy, learning and teaching change within the context of big data for education on. It provided a focus for delegates on the question of what capacities and competencies educational leaders and management should have when addressing the impacts that adaptive learning and learning analytics have on their own educational leadership role. Keynote speakers, sessions, and panelists all addressed this theme throughout the 1 and half day summit.

Day 1

The summit was officially opened by M. Makhanya, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa, ICDE Secretary General and by Anne Boyer from Université de Lorraine/LORIA, who set the tone for the summit. This was followed by a short introduction by the summit partners with W. Van Petegem representing EDEN and G.Ubachs, EADTU.

The first keynote of the summit was provided by Barbara Wasson from SLATE, University of Bergen. B. Wasson provided a comprehensive overview of  the many ways of thinking about, using different types of data in her presentation titled ‘ What is LA for?  This broad and in depth presentation opened up for a wide range of reflections, questions and discussions related to the Summit theme. This was followed by the first session on Learning Analytics and policy where A. Boyer (Université de Lorraine/LORIA) examined the Impact and potential of Learning Analytics, providing delegates with experiences and examples from LORIA. D. Griffiths from CETIS  spoke on ‘Learning analytics and policy’ who was of the opinion, that policies which promote the knowledge society create fertile ground for analytics.

Before delegates were invited for a networking lunch, a workshop that allowed for Q&A from the audience on “Why are learning analytics a promising tool to become a visionary leader, in a changing world?” was keenly contributed to with many issues raised for consideration. The workshop was facilitated by M. Jean-Louis (Contact North I Contact Nord) and J. M. Meunier (FIED).

The networking lunch buffet, was as anticipated, being in France a delicious affair with many local foods on offer. Delegates went back to the programme proceedings after networking and re-connecting with international colleagues to the second session on ‘Organizational issues of a LA initiative: towards a methodology’. This was facilated by R. Molina, Loma Linda University with panel members I. Dolphin (APEREO), H. C. Koh (Singapore University of Social Sciences), M. Brown (Dublin City University) taking part. During the panel presentations, Singapore University of Social Sciences presented their learning analytics framework and HR strategic plan from their university leadership.

The third session, ‘Impact of a LA strategy on universities management’ was facilitated by T. Belawati (Universitas Terbuka) and the second keynote of the day which was provided by N. Sclater (JISC).

The panel: The impact of Learning Analytics strategy on universities management delivered presentations given by W. Shunping (Open University of China) and N. Fassina (Athabasca University). W. Shunping (Open University of China) provided an extensive example of what big data really is from the Open University of China and demonstrated its value in the development of a model of learning behaviour for its students.  N. Fassina suggested that a good starting point for universities is to address what we do have and what can we use it for. The programme on day one concluded with a lively debate, discussion and many questions posed by delegates during the workshop on ‘Impact of learning analytics on Leadership’ that was facilitated by N. Sclater, JISC and B. Wasson, SLATE University of Bergen.

To provide delegates with a taste of beautiful Nancy, UNIT, the hosts for the summit arranged for delegates to be provided with guided historical tour of the city. This was followed by a social dinner in a beautiful setting where delegates were served with local cuisine and wine while being serenaded by traditional French songs.

Day 2

The second day of the summit commenced with a panel on legal and ethical issues that addressed ‘do we need a global framework?’ The panel was facilitated by C. Stueckelberger (Globethics.net) and panel members included M. Makhanya (Unisa), J. Breivik (BI Norwegian Business School), C. Zolynski (Université Versailles Saint-Quentin), T. Toulotte (Université Versailles Saint-Quentin) and N. Sclater (JISC). This was proceeded by a panel on teachers, staff and student evolvement. The panel was facilitated by C. Wihak, (Thompson Rivers University) with panel member J. C. Caralt (UOC), S. Guri-Rosenblit (Open University of Israel), W. Van Petegem (EDEN) providing success stories and pointers on how to involve students.

Before the final conclusions of the summit a presentation on MOOC for leaders: the D-Transform project S. Sancassani (Politecnico di Milano, METID) was given. This was followed by the closing address given by the ICDE Secretary General and Anne Boyer (Université de Lorraine/LORIA) and M. Makhanya (Unisa), who reflected on the discussion of the last day and a half and recognized the work and support of the organising committee. 

The half day programme concluded with busy afternoon of more networking opportunities over a buffet lunch, the ICDE Presidents meeting, meetings with the French actors of open education  from AUNEGE, FIED, IUTen Ligne, UNIT and UOH, and the first meeting of the ICDE Learning Analytics Cluster and chocolate tasting.

NewsRita Chan