Doctoral Consortium

Doctoral Consortium

Quick Facts | Message from the Chairs | Preparation
Reviewing Process | At the Conference

Quick Facts

  • Submission deadline: 7th February 2014
  • Submission link
  • Notification of acceptance: 21st February 2014
  • Final version due: N/A
  • Format of the submission: 2-4 page submission + recommendation letter + feedback request
  • Review process: non-blind review
  • Presentation at the conference: 10-15 min + extended discussion period
  • Archiving after the conference: none

Message From the Chairs


The LAK Doctoral Consortium is a day-long workshop designed to support emerging scholars in learning analytics by helping them develop productive approaches to studying the intersection of theory, big data, and practice. The event will bring together advanced Ph.D. students from a variety of disciplines working on topics related to Learning Analytics who are grappling with their dissertation research and a mentor panel of prominent researchers in the field (particularly across the disciplinary areas of learning sciences, data sciences, and human-computer interaction) help to support participation in the analytics community by a cohort of young scholars. Doctoral Consortium participants will be given the opportunity to present, discuss, and receive feedback on their research in an interdisciplinary and international atmosphere as well as be exposed to a wide range of different analytic approaches, methods, and tools for acquiring data about learners and their learning activities. Special attention will be paid to considering the “big picture” of the field and in understanding how individual work, often driven by a specific disciplinary outlook, may impact and intersect with larger learning analytics issues.


The specific objectives of the Doctoral Consortium are to:

  • Provide a setting for mutual feedback on participants’ current research and guidance on future research directions from a mentor panel

  • Create a forum for engaging in dialogue aimed at building capacity in the field with respect to current issues in learning analytics ranging from methods of gathering analytics, interpreting analytics with respect to learning issues, considering ethical issues, relaying the meaning of analytics to impact teaching and learning, etc.

  • Develop a supportive, multidisciplinary community of learning analytics scholars

  • Foster a spirit of collaborative research across countries, institutions and disciplinary background

  • Contribute to the conference experience of participating students through interaction with other doctoral consortium participants and faculty mentors

The intention of this doctoral consortium is to support and inspire advanced Ph.D. students during their ongoing research efforts. Therefore, applicants should already be working on a specific research project but should not have completed their degree nor officially submitted their thesis prior to the doctoral consortium (March 2014).

Event details

The Doctoral Consortium will take place immediately before the LAK 2014 conference during the second designated workshop / tutorial day (March 25th). Students attending the Doctoral Consortium should be registered for the general LAK conference, but there is no additional registration fee the Consortium itself. All meals on the workshop day will be provided and a stipend will be given to accepted students that covers the cost conference registration plus an additional amount to defray the cost of travel.

We thank the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) for providing financial support for this event.

Organizing Committee



In order to apply to the Doctoral Consortium, student applicants will need to submit the following information:

  • A 2-4 page summary of your research that includes the following:

    • A 150 word abstract

    • Brief background of the project and identification of the significant problem(s) in the field the project addresses

    • Goals of the research and a clear formulation of the research question

    • An outline of the current knowledge of the problem domain and state of existing solutions

    • A discussion of how the Ph.D. project’s suggested solution is different, new, or better as compared to existing approaches to the problem

    • A sketch of the research methodology and identification of core methods / techniques used

    • Current status of the work and any preliminary results achieved so far

Note that the 4 page limit includes all tables, figures, references etc.

  • In a separate sheet include:

    • A statement of the particular issues/problems in your dissertation, research areas that you want to discuss, types of feedback that might be particularly useful

    • A list of members of the LAK’14 Program Committee who you think would be able to provide a particularly useful perspective or feedback on your work

    • If you have financial support from your supervisor or external sources to attend the conference and wish to decline the consortium stipend to provide greater support for students without external funds

    • A letter of recommendation from your dissertation supervisor/advisor. It should include an assessment of the current status of your work, and an expected date for dissertation completion.

Upload the 2-4 page summary as the primary conference submission document (“Paper”) and the recommendation and issues document together (as a zip or merged PDF file) for the additional supporting file (“Attachment”). Please also provide keywords in the indicated field so that we can assign appropriate reviewers to your submission.


Reviewing Process

Applications will be reviewed with the goal of selecting participants who reflect individual excellence, interesting projects, and strong motivation while at the same time contributing to the workshop objectives and the aggregate diversity of the cohort. Proposals will be reviewed by the Doctoral Consortium co-chairs and additional Program Committee members as needed. Participants will be selected on the basis of the academic quality of their proposal; relevance and potential contribution to the Learning Analytics field; recommendation from the dissertation supervisor/advisor; and their anticipated contribution to the workshop goals. We specifically seek applicants whose work is conceptually motivated and uses analytics to provide direction for understanding and supporting learning processes and outcomes.


At the Conference

Prior to the workshop, participating students and mentors will be asked to provide a written formative review of a small number of the student projects. These will both provide formal feedback and serve as a grounding for discussions during the workshop.

At the workshop, the format will be centered around research presentations and feedback sessions from the mentors and other workshop participants. Each participant will be allocated a timeslot to make a presentation (in whole or small group format) summarizing their current research foci and challenges, including theoretical frameworks, discipline, goals, methodologies, actual or potential studies, and the research plan. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A/discussion period with the mentors and other student participants. These sessions will be interspersed with break-out group discussions on special topics and career-related issues depending on the group’s interests.

There will also be a group luncheon during the workshop and an informal evening event following the workshop. These will provide the students, mentors, and other invited researchers an opportunity to network in a more informal setting and engage in additional discussion about professional issues with regards to the students’ future academic and professional endeavors.

In order to foster networking between the student participants themselves and also with leading learning analytics researchers, participating students will also present their work in a poster session during the conference.

Accepted students should prepare:

  1. A very brief (60 sec max) introduction of themselves and the PhD project for the opening session

  2. A 10-15 minute presentation of the PhD project to be used for introducing discussion about the project and its main issues

  3. A poster about their in-progress Ph.D. work for one of the LAK 2014 poster sessions