The International Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference is now in its fourth year! LAK 14 will keep up the momentum generated in the earlier meetings as we continue to define who we are as a community and how our research can inform the important decisions facing education today. We are experiencing conditions that create a “perfect storm” for making analytics vitally important for supporting learning in our information age. Not only do we know more about the basic processes involved in learning, the explosion of online technology platforms and services provide new opportunities for learning and generate new forms of data about those processes. Coupled with increasing societal demands to make learning more accessible and effective for all, we need scholarly research to ensure that advances in learning technologies and practices benefit society as a whole. Advances in analytics, data mining and data visualization promise a way forward for making sense of the massive amounts of data available so that we can thoughtfully inform learners, educators, and policy makers.
The location for the conference this year, Indianapolis, is called “The City at the Crossroads of America.” Accordingly, the theme for LAK 14 focuses on the crossroads, or intersection, of basic research on learning, learning theory, and educational practice. We invite papers that address at least one of these foci, but especially encourage submissions that demonstrate how they fit together in ways that make our work relevant to improving learning for people of all ages, leverage the technologies available to today’s learners, and scalable within the many places where learning occurs. To accomplish these goals, we seek theoretically motivated papers that utilize analytics to provide direction for understanding and supporting learning.