Pre Conference Workshops

Pre-conference workshops were held at Leeds University on Monday, 5 September 2011 and were open to all.

ALT normally takes no responsibility for the planning or outcome of pre-conference workshops.

Improving Processes by Using Activity Data.

12.45 - 16.15 Room 8.62, 8th Floor, EC Stoner Building

Universities and colleges are collecting large amounts of activity data in log files.  Whenever someone logs into any system, when they use the virtual learning environment, search the library catalogue, download a resource, borrow a book – all these events may be captured.  This information can be used to

  • Understand what your users are doing,

  • Improve the services that you provide, and

  • Support users to work more effectively.

Examples of using activity data include recommender systems (such as Amazon’s ‘people who bought this also bought that’) and diagnostic tools to identify students at risk at an early stage.

However, care has to be taken in using activity data, as there are a number of analytical, legal and technical issues that need to be considered.

The workshop will draw on the work of the 2011 JISC Activity Data programme, as well on complementary work in the JISC Business Intelligence and in North America. The workshop leaders (Tom Franklin, Helen Harrop, David Kay and Mark van Harmelen) have undertaken the JISC Activity Data programme synthesis as well as prior work in this space (

For more information on this workshop please click here.

NMC Horizon. JISC Project.

12.45 - 16.30 8.90, 8th Floor, EC Stoner Building

During the last few months the New Media Consortium (NMC,, who have for a number of years produced an annual Horizon Report in association with EDUCAUSE, have been conducting a study from the perspective of UK universities and colleges. This has been undertaken with the support of JISC and the involvement of a panel of thought leaders from our community as the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board has worked through a number of stages culminating in a vote to identify what they see as the most important trends in technology and the likely impact of these trends. This work, which is online at, is being drawn together in a “Short List” to summarise the conclusions reached.

This workshop comprises the final stage of the project. Participants will receive a copy of the pre-release “Short List” by email during the week before the workshop. The workshop will be highly interactive and will be strongly oriented towards gathering perception and analysis from the participants.

For more information on this workshop please click here.

Designing Learning Environments for the Future.

14.00 - 16.30 8.60, 8th Floor, EC Stoner Building

The role of the university campus is changing in subtle and important ways. Today, student ‘timescapes’ typically involve moving between places to work, study, sleep, eat, and play, and the boundaries between these places are now less distinct as wireless networks, laptops, smart phones, and iPads afford greater flexibility and mobility. Yet learning spaces are still being designed with traditional ‘chalk and talk’ modes in mind — arguably to the detriment of learning outcomes.

This workshop uses findings and methods from the Spaces for Knowledge Generation project (, funded by the Australian Teaching and Learning Council, to provide novel ways to inform learning space design with student perspectives. It will give you an opportunity to apply some of these techniques to the design of learning spaces within your own institution.

For more information on this workshop please click here.