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LearnLab summer school 2022

The LearnLab summer school in Pittsburgh was a great opportunity for researchers to learn about a variety of topics related to learning and education. One of the tracks that was offered at the summer school was the OLI track, which focused on teaching courses using the OLI pedagogical methods (aka Question-Based Learning) and learning all the ins and outs of the OLI Torus course creation platform. Andreas Jemstedt, who was a part of the OLI track, found the summer school to be very helpful in learning how to construct courses using the OLI methods.

Another track that was offered at the summer school was the educational data mining track. Ric Glassey and Olle Bälter, who were part of this track, worked on analysing data from a programming course, using learning curves to spot issues in the course material, modifying the skills model, and integrating other student data to create a new data set. The educational data mining track was very beneficial for Ric and Olle, as it allowed them to learn about a variety of data mining techniques that can be used to improve courses.

One of the highlights of the summer school was the May the Feedback be with you talk, which was the first invited external talk ever at LearnLab. Olle and Ric presented their journey with OLI via the medium of the Star Wars movie franchise. In nine episodes they retold the story of how they overcome various challenges to adopt OLI at KTH and then how they moved forward towards the idea of Pure Question-based Learning. The May the Feedback be with you talk was very well-received by the audience and helped to raise awareness of OLI at the summer school.

The sightseeing in Pittsburgh was also great. We got to experience Pickleburgh, which is a pickle-themed festival that happens every year. We also explored the different bridges in the city, as well as the funicular. And of course, we tried out Primantis, which is a local sandwich chain that is famous for its massive sandwiches.

Olle Bälter is an Associate Professor in Human-Computer Interaction and head of the research group for Technology Enhanced Learning at KTH-Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been running online courses since 2006 and his research interests are technology enhanced learning and interface design. Since his research visit to Stanford University 2015-2016 he has been working in cooperation with Open Learning Initiative to enable more efficient learning.