AIM Analytics talk series – Vitomir Kovanovic

Vitomir Kovanovic from University of Edinburgh will provide a talk on Octover 10, Monday, at 12:00-1:30 pm in the Hatcher Gallery Lab.
If you are planning to attend, please RSVP. More details are listed below.


A Novel Model of Cognitive Presence Assessment Using Automated Learning Analytics Methods.


One of the significant trends in educational is the increased interest in the development of students’ critical and deep thinking skills. Besides creativity, collaboration, and communication, critical thinking has been recognized as one of the core 21st-century skills necessary to work in the globalized economy. One of the widely used approaches for the development of critical thinking skills is inquiry-based learning, which — instead of presenting facts and information in a smooth learning path — begins with a question, problem, or scenario, and students build knowledge through interaction with the learning content and other students. In the context of online learning, the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model is a widely used pedagogical framework that outlines the constructs that shape students’ overall learning experience, including cognitive presence, which captures the development of students’ critical and deep thinking skills. Although cognitive presence has been recognized as important in student learning outcomes, assessing it is challenging, primarily because of its latent nature and the physical constraints of online learning settings. However, the vast amounts of data collected by the learning systems provide opportunities to assess student levels of cognitive presence through automated data analytics techniques, often referred to as learning analytics. In this presentation, we will overview a framework for the formative assessment of student cognitive presence based on learning analytics methods.  Those include automatic analysis of student discussions and profiling of students based on their use of the available learning systems. With the goal of providing both instructors and students with timely and actionable feedback, the developed tools also enable to better understand the overall complexity of learning, thus advancing both the practice and theory of online learning.


Vitomir Kovanović is a Ph.D. student and research assistant at School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and a research assistant at the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab at the University of Texas, Arlington. Vitomir’s research is in the area of Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining focuses on the development of novel learning analytics methods based on the trace data collected by learning management systems and their use to improve inquiry-based online education. He authored and co-authored several book chapters, conference papers, and journal articles. Vitomir is a recipient of two best paper awards (LAK15 and HERDSA15 conferences) and scholarships by the Serbian Ministry of Education, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Edinburgh.

AIM Analytics talk series – Marco Molinaro

Marco Molinaro from UC Davis will provide a talk on September 12, Monday, at 12:00-1:30 pm in the Hatcher Gallery.
If you are planning to attend, please RSVP.  More details are listed below.


Marco Molinaro, Ph.D., is the Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Effectiveness at UC Davis where he oversees the Center for Educational Effectiveness which includes learning and teaching support, instructional research and development and educational analytics. Dr. Molinaro has over 20 years of educational experience creating and leading applications of technology for instruction, scientific visualization and simulation, tools for evidence-based instructional actions, curriculum development and evaluation, and science exhibits for students from elementary school through graduate school and for the general public.

Currently, Molinaro is leading the UC Davis university-wide effort to improve undergraduate student success through the Center for Educational Effectiveness (an expansion of the former iAMSTEM Hub merged with the prior Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.) As part of the effort, the Center is working with faculty and staff across the university to: 1) improve and evolve the introductory undergraduate curriculum, 2) understand and measure change with new analytics tools and approaches that guide instructional improvement and, 3) develop actionable student success models.

Molinaro is also the founder of the Tools for Evidence-based actions community, a group of researchers and administrators from over 70 universities dedicated to sharing tools and methodologies that encourage evidence-based instructional actions. His projects have been funded through the NSF, NIH and various private foundations such as Gates, Intel and the Helmsley Trust.