CILA Workshop

Delft, September 17

Within the Learning Analytics (LA) community, the idea that a “one size fits all” paradigm does not lead to effective LA tool designs has become widely accepted, but there is still a big question mark over what factors that define the “right size” for every learner. During this workshop, we wish to explore how to design inclusive LA tools in order to minimize cultural barriers.

  • Half-day workshop preceeding EC-TEL 2019
  • September 17, Delft, The Netherlands
  • Organizers: Ioana Jivet, Maren Scheffel (Open University, NL), Tom Broos (KU Leuven, BE)


  • Raise awareness on the effects of culture on learning and beliefs about learning and implications on:
    • (i) the acceptance and use of LA tools,
    • (ii) the design requirements of LA tools,
    • (iii) the potential for reusability and the need for adaptation of LA tools across different cultural contexts,
    • (iv) the need for adaptation of LA tools within cultural heterogeneous environments.
  • Introduce the cultural background of LA stakeholders on the list of design considerations in the LA domain both in practice and in research.
  • Draw an initial list of recommendations based on workshop participants’ experience with respect to the integration (or lack thereof) of cultural aspects into the design, implementation, evaluation and use of LA tools 


The field of LA has gained a lot of attention in the last years as more and more data about learners and their contexts became available. The number of LA tools implemented in online learning environments which bring together learners from all over the world has been steadily on the rise. At the same time, LA implementations are being transferred across institutions and even across countries and continents. For example, the LALA project is a European capacity building project that aims to improve the quality of Higher Education in Latin America, by enabling local universities to implement LA. Similarly, the Competen-SEA project aims to enable universities in South-East Asia to develop a new kind of accessible, affordable, high quality and effective educational services in order to reach groups of population now excluded from traditional education, by leveraging European experiences.

There is extensive research grounded in Hofstede’s cultural dimensions framework as to how culture influences different aspects of learning, including beliefs about learning and the educational practice (Hofstede, 1986; Wursten & Jacobs, 2013). Cultural differences play a significant role also in online learning influencing students’ collaborative learning (Vatrapu & Suthers, 2007), as well as educational technology acceptance and use (Nistor, Göğüş & Lerche, 2013; Lai et al., 2016). Instructional designers and teachers need to build culturally inclusive learning course designs in order to encourage full participation by international students (Liu et al., 2010, Gómez-Rey et al., 2016). While there were some initial attempts to bring this topic to the table (Vatrapu, 2011), the topic is widely underrepresented in current LA work. The few studies that included the cultural dimension in their research show that cultural differences influenced the effectiveness of LA interventions (Mittelmeier et al., 2016; Davis et al, 2017; Kizilcec & Cohen, 2017).

We believe the TEL community would benefit from starting a discussion and drafting a set of suggestions on how to create more inclusive tools that put users and their needs at the centre of the design process. Following this principle could lead to more meaningful tools that do not put certain stakeholder groups at an advantage over others.

Call for papers

We are looking specifically for papers that describe LA tools with a user interface that can either be applied in multiple cultural contexts or in learning environments that have culturally heterogeneous audiences. The submitted work can be work in progress (there is no need for an evaluation of the tools) or previously published work where the cultural dimensions were not explored.

While a minimum of originality is expected, note that this call of papers is specifically targeting reflections on cultural dimensions of previous or current/ongoing work. This may include authors’ own work, or consideration of work of others from the perspective of cultural inclusiveness of LA tools.

All papers should not simultaneously be submitted to another journal or conference. We accept papers from 5 to 10 pages. Papers should be formatted according to LNCS guidelines and submitted using the EasyChair system.

  • Abstract registration deadline: 28 June 2019
  • Submission deadline: 5 July 2019