On October 26-28, 2022, Carnegie Mellon University and KTH successfully held a joint 3-day Workshop on efficient and effective data-driven learning and teaching. There were 30 attendees, mostly from KTH, but also from two companies (NE and ImgPlay) as well as representatives from Uppsala and Mälardalen University. The workshop was structured with an Introduction to question-based learning block in the mornings and Advanced Topics in the afternoon, with Office Hours for the Intro group running simultaneously. The workshop had a focus on hands-on activities and included lecture components as well. The event was sponsored by STINT and IMG Play.
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.
Funded by ESF and in cooperation with the Swedish Public Employment Service (SPES) we will develop and evaluate online course modules to efficiently increase the digital competence of the learners. In this first project, we will start with the staff of SPES, but the needs of digital competence are substantial and we plan for more projects in the future. More information can be found at the TEL project page.
We are guest editing an issue of Multimodal Technologies and Interaction with the theme “Effective and Efficient Digital Learning”.
Despite many promising initiatives to use digital technology to enhance teaching and learning, its impact on the vast majority of education has so far been slim.
There are several reasons for this: (1) Staff experience a lack of resources, digital competence, and incentives to change well-established habits; (2) Digital technologies are in abundant supply but it is difficult to predict the outcomes without evidence and experience from previous implementations; and (3) Institutions can unintentionally create explicit and implicit barriers to innovation and change, or at least hinder their progress.
At the same time, the funding of schools and universities is competing with many other important and pressing needs.
One possibility for improving this situation would be to gather initiatives in technology-enhanced learning that include both a pedagogical and an economical perspective that can be used in constructive dialogues and debates with both school management and teachers. This is also the aim of this Special Issue on effective and efficient digital teaching and learning.
We welcome contributions that take up both sides and that include practical or theoretical support for either pedagogical improvements while the resource demands are kept at bay or that reduce the resource demands while at least maintaining the pedagogical quality.
Sustainable education does not yet have a widely accepted definition in the literature. In this work, we start from the Sustainable Development Goal of Quality Education for All (SDG4) and interpret sustainable education as increasing the quality of learning whilst conserving the resources required to produce and deliver it. From this interpretation, we argue that one path towards realising sustainable education is through the identification of teaching practices that satisfy these conditions of increased quality whilst conserving resources. We present an overview of four case studies, where the conditions for sustainable education are demonstrated through the effective use of people, processes and technologies. Each case represents an intervention that was made to improve the quality of education within an intensive three-month project, which trained immigrants to be employable in the IT industry as junior software developers. Whilst the interventions are independent and unique, they are connected by the themes of quality improvement and resource conservation. In isolation, each specific case produced improvements for both teachers and students; however, it is by combining such approaches that we can start to realise the path towards sustainable education that will help lead to a better quality of education for all. The findings of this work suggest that quality education does not come at the cost of increased resource demands; rather, approaches exist that can be considered to satisfy the conditions for sustainable education.
Open access at