Is Learning Data in the Right Shape?

Anthony Kelly
2017 Journal of Learning Analytics  
In this short thought-piece, I attempt to capture the type of freewheeling discussions I had with our late colleague, Mika Seppälä, a research mathematician from Helsinki. Mika, not being a psychometrician or learning scientist, was blissfully free from the design constraints that experts sometimes ingest, unwittingly. I also draw on delightful conversations with the German research mathematician, Heinz-Otto Peitgen, a polyglot whose work includes advances in medical imaging and explorations in
more » ... fractal geometry for K-12 students. Together, they taught me to reconsider foundational assumptions about learning, how to describe it, and how to grow it. Accordingly, I use this set of papers as a prompt for examining assumptions that numerical precision ensures scientific insight, that linear models best capture growth in learning, and that relaxing a fixation with time (exemplified by the reification of pre-and post-testing) might open up new topologies for describing, predicting, and promoting learning in its myriad manifestations.
doi:10.18608/jla.2017.42.12 fatcat:6cuwymyvsrdq3ham6vpwsfggke