Call for Papers

VISLA15: 1st international workshop on visual approaches to learning analytics
organized at the 5th international learning analytics and knowledge conference (LAK15)

The use of visualization techniques for learning is not new. For instance, visualizations have been used in maps and drawings for thousands of years. In a learning analytics context, the application of information visualisation techniques can help both teachers and learners to explore and understand relevant user traces that are collected in various (online) environments and to improve (human) learning. The goal of our workshop is to build a strong research capacity around visual approaches to learning analytics. The longer term goal is to improve the quality of learning analytics research that relies on information visualization techniques.

Each contribution to the workshop should explicitly address the following items:

  1. What kind of data is being visualized? What tools were used to clean up the data (if any)
  2. For whom are the visualizations intended (learner, teacher, manager, researcher, other?
  3. How is data visualized? Which interaction techniques are applied? What tools, libraries, data formats, etc. are used for the technical implementations. What workflow and recipe was used to develop the visualization?
  4. Why are the chosen visual approaches applied (i.e. rationale behind the application of a visualisation)?
  5. How has the approach been evaluated or how could it be evaluated?
  6. What were the encountered problems and pitfalls during the visualization process

Contributions can also present the methodology used to design the evaluation, the pedagogical underpinning, and other aspects.

The workshop is intended for anyone who is using, or is interested in visualization techniques to support learning analytics. The goal of our workshop is to build a strong research capacity around visual approaches to learning analytics. The longer term goal is to improve the quality of learning analytics research that relies on information visualization techniques.

The workshop is explicitly aimed at participants from a range of research fields and expertises. Authors from diverse fields, like pedagogy, information visualization, visual analytics, psychology, cognitive science, etc. are encouraged to submit their work and participate in the workshop. There will be an opportunity to present concepts and approaches, but also algorithms and implementations for discussion and feedback.

The workshop will enable researchers to get acquainted with related research fields, enabling in depth studies and contacts and thereby fostering the discussion of research issues around the area of visual approaches to learning analytics.

Authors will be invited to submit original unpublished work. The following types of contributions will be possible (using the ACM proceedings template):

  • Short papers (3-5 pages) that state the position of the authors within the scope of the workshop and describe solution concepts, prototypes and work in progress.
  • Full papers: (8-12 pages) that either describe mature work, including evaluation.

All the papers submitted will be reviewed using a blind refereeing process by at least two members of the program committee. Submissions can be made through the easychair submission system:

Papers will be published in CEUR Workshop proceedings series. is a recognized ISSN publication series, with ISSN 1613-0073.

During our 1-day workshop, we aim to facilitate a very interactive and engaging event where we want to avoid death by powerpoint by all means and promote discussion activities over presentational ones. In the first half of the workshop, we will therefore ask participants to shortly present the work of another submission and to relate it back to their own work. The facilitators can potentially allocate challengers per presentation to move the discussion around common themes and differences in approaches.

During the second half of the workshop, we invite the participants to share their tools, workflows and recipes in a hands-on discussion session so that they can benefit from each others’ knowledge, apply their visual approaches on either their own dataset or on a dataset that we provide.

Finally, we will move the discussion to the final topic of the workshop, which is the development of the equivalent of the VAST challenge for learning [1], which will be linked back with the LAK14 and LAK15 data challenge [2]. As [1] mentions:

“The annual Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST) challenge provides Visual Analytics researchers, developers, and designers an opportunity to apply their best tools and techniques against invented problems that include a realistic scenario, data, tasks, and questions to be answered. Submissions are processed much like conference papers, contestants are provided reviewer feedback, and excellence is recognized with awards. A day-long VAST Challenge workshop takes place each year at the IEEE VAST conference to share results and recognize outstanding submissions.”

Full papers: 10 January 2015 (*** NEW, EXTENDED DEADLINE FOR FULL AND SHORT PAPERS: 17 January ***)
Short papers: 17 January 2015
Review notifications sent: 4 February 2015
Camera ready versions due: 25 February 2015
Camera ready versions available in open access: 1 March 2015
Workshop: 16 or 17 March 2015

Erik Duval, Joris Klerkx, Katrien Verbert, KU Leuven, Belgium
Martin Wolpers, Fraunhofer-Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, Germany
Abelardo Pardo, University of Sydney, Australia
Sten Govaerts & Denis Gillet, EPFL, Switzerland
Xavier Ochoa, ESPOL, Ecuador
Denis Parra, PUC, Chile

Michael Derntl, RWTH Aachen, Germany
Ralf Klamma, RWTH Aachen, Germany
Till Nagel, University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany
Eelco Herder, L3S, Germany
Judy Kay, The University of Sydney, Australia
Dragan Gasevic, Athabasca University, Canada
Dietrich Albert, Univ. Graz, Austria
Alexandra Cristea, Univ. Warwick, UK
Sharon Hsiao, Arizona State University, USA
Pedro J. Munoz Merino, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
Lars Bollen, University of Twente, the Netherlands
Patrick Jermann, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Ulrich Hoppe, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Maria Jesus Rodriguez Triana, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

The workshop will be in conjunction with the fifth 5th international learning analytics and knowledge conference (LAK15). More information about the venue can be found at:

[1] K. Cook, G. Grinstein, and M. Whiting. The vast challenge: history, scope, and outcomes: An introduction to the special issue. Information Visualization, 13(4):301–312, 2014.
[2] H . Drachsler, S. Dietze, E. Herder, M. d’Aquin, and D. Taibi. The learning analytics & knowledge (lak) data challenge 2014. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Learning Analytics And Knowledge, LAK ’14, pages 289–290, New York, NY, USA, 2014. ACM

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