Thanks for attending WESST 2017!

Thanks for attending the Workshop on Education and Social Science Technologies on 19-21 Jul!

Whether you attended the whole workshop, came in just for tutorials or a single session or watched our live simucasts on YouTube, we are grateful that you attended and got a chance to participate in WESST.

NUS is making a big push towards pedagogical innovation and research and incorporating computational aspects into social science. WESST is just the start of the dialogue with you and your interests, and we hope to grow academic staff into contributing towards these lines of research.

In the following weeks, we’ll be following up and checking whether you have interest in learning more about the research programmes in NUS ALSET (Institute for the Application of Learning Sciences and Education Technology) and those in Computational Social Sciences. ALSET, in particular, is looking for academic staff interested in partnering with us to form core and affiliated faculty as part of its NUS-wide interdisciplinary institution that can serve you in shaping, defining and publishing your work towards the goals of helping learners learn better.

The outputs of the workshop are available online and we encourage you to share these resources with your colleagues in your department and to others beyond NUS that share likeminded interests in the themes of our workshop.

Once again, thank you for attending WESST!

– Min, Tuan, Joseph and Chris
WESST organizing committee, on behalf of the Department of Computer Science, School of Computing and
NUS ALSET (Institute for the Application of Learning Sciences and Education Technology)

WESST 2 mins Closing Video:

For all tutorials and presentations, presentation slides and videos are archived on SlideShare and YouTube. Get all the links here:

** Tutorials (19th Jul):

> Introduction to WESST, Preview of the ALSET Data Lake, by Min Yen Kan, Tuan Phan, Joseph Jay Williams
> LearnSphere and Datashop, by John Stamper, Carnegie Mellon University, Human-Computer Interaction Institute
> Basics of Deep Learning, by Animesh Prasad, NUS, Computer Science> Leveraging Technology for Collaborative, Dynamic, Personalized Experimentation, by Joseph Jay Williams, Information Systems and Analytics
> Econometrics and Social Science Methods, by Tuan Q. Phan, NUS, Information Systems and Analytics
> Sentiment Analysis on Social Media, by Wenqiang Lei, and Kishaloy Halder, NUS, Computer Science
> From Data to Design of Dynamic Support for Collaborative Learning, by Carolyn Rosé, Carnegie Mellon University, Language Technologies Institute and HCI Institute
> Getting Started on the Computational Social Sciences, by Tuan Q. Phan, NUS, Information Systems and Analytics > Learning Analytics Data Policy and Adoption Strategies (Teachers to Take Interventions), by Dragan Gašević, University of Edinburgh, Schools of Education and Informatics
> AutoTutor, an Implementation of Conversation-Based Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS), by Xiangen Hu, University of Memphis, Psychology

** Research Workshop Speakers (20-21st Jul):

* 20 Jul

> Introducing ALSET & SoC, Opportunities at NUS for Data and Intervention, Data Dictionary, visit by Computer Science Department Head, Tan Kian Lee.
> Keynote: Critical Directions for Learning Analytics Research and Practice, by Dragan Gašević, University of Edinburgh, Schools of Education and Informatics
> TEAMMATES: A Flexible Feedback Management System for Education, by Damith Rajapakse, NUS, Computer Science
> VisuAlgo: Visualizing Data Structures and Algorithms through Animation, by Steven Halim, NUS, Computer Science
> Archipelago: Live Interaction Platform for Large Classes, by Soo Yuen Jien, NUS, Computer Science
> Keynote: Continuous Improvement of Educational Technology through Discoveries with Big Data, by John Stamper, Carnegie Mellon University, Human-Computer Interaction Institute
> Connecting Instructors with Social Behavioral Scientists and Machine Learning Researchers: Collaborative, Dynamic, Personalized Experimentation in MOOClets, by Joseph Jay Williams, NUS, Information Systems and Analytics, School of Computing
> Theatre Performances as Data: Implications for Research and Teaching, by Miguel Escobar, NUS, Theatre Studies & Contemporary Wayang Archive
> NUS’ Technology Enhanced Learning Environment, by Ravi Chandran, NUS, Centre for Instructional Technology.
> Applied Research in Workforce Development, by Jo Fang, Institute for Adult Learning
> Social Networks and Causal Inference, by Prasanta Bhattacharya, Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC)
> Closing Summary & Discussion – Day 1

* 21 Jul

> Second Day Opening
> Keynote: Technology Support for Effective Team-Based Learning in Online Education, by Carolyn Rosé, Carnegie Mellon University, Language Technologies Institute and HCI Institute
> Leveraging learning analytics to formatively assess teamwork, by Elizabeth Koh, National Institute of Education, Office of Education Research
> Dynamically Personalized Interventions, by Bibhas Chakraborty, Duke-NUS
> LA Visualisations to Foster Collaborative Critical Reading Skills and Deepen Learning Engagement in English Language: Students’ Perceived Benefits and Problematics, by Jennifer Tan, National Institute of Education, Office of Education Research
> Using Discourse Signals for Robust Instructor Intervention Prediction, by Muthu Kumar Chandrasekaran, NUS, Computer Science
> Keynote: Conversational Tutors and the Experience API, by Xiangen Hu, University of Memphis, Psychology
> Automated Assessment of Argumentation in Science Classrooms, by Wenli Chen, National Institute of Education, Learning Sciences & Technologies
> Panel & Audience Discussion & Closing Remarks: Bringing Research to Bear on Learning at NUS

Again, presentation slides and videos are archived and available from:


Critical directions for learning analytics research and practice

Prof. Dragan Gašević will be giving the following invited talk at WESST!

Critical directions for learning analytics research and practice
The analysis of data collected from user interactions with educational and information technology has attracted much attention as a promising approach for advancing our understanding of the learning process. This promise motivated the emergence of the new field learning analytics and mobilized the education sector to embrace the use of data for decision-making. This talk will first introduce the field of learning analytics and touch on lessons learned from some well-known case studies. The talk will then identify critical challenges that require immediate attention for learning analytics to make a sustainable impact on learning and teaching practice. The talk will conclude by discussing promising directions that can be followed to address the existing challenges in research and practice of learning analytics.

Dragan Gašević is a Professor and the Chair in Learning Analytics and Informatics in the Moray House School of Education and the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He served as the president (2015-2017) of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) and holds several honorary appointments in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and USA. A computer scientist by training and skills, Dragan considers himself a learning analyst who develops computational methods that can shape next-generation learning technologies and advance our understanding of self-regulated and social learning. Funded by granting agencies and industry in Canada, Australia, Europe, and USA, Dragan is a recipient of several best paper awards at the major international conferences in learning and software technology. Committed to the development of international research community, Dragan had the pleasure to serve as a founding program co-chair of the International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK) in 2011 and 2012 and the Learning Analytics Summer Institute in 2013 and 2014, general chair of LAK’16, and a founding editor of the Journal of Learning Analytics (2012-2017). Dragan is a (co-)author of numerous research papers and books and a frequent keynote speaker.


Technology Support for Effective Team-Based Learning in Online Education

Prof. Carolyn Rosé will be giving the following invited talk at WESST!

Technology Support for Effective Team-Based Learning in Online Education
Computational Discourse Analysis is an active area of Learning Analytics that offers real time insights into social processes that impact learning and performance in online courses. This talk reports on research that leverages this important area of research, specifically in connection with a key discussion property referred to as Transactivity.  In particular, this talk reports on work towards achieving persistent social interaction throughout large online courses in the form of technology-supported team based projects. We propose what we refer to as a deliberation-based team formation procedure to improve the selection and initiation process used to start team-based learning in an effective way.  Results from validation studies demonstrate that project teams formed through this technology-enhanced process are more successful at a collaborative knowledge integration task.  Data from deployment studies in real MOOCs are consistent with these findings and demonstrate the potential of this paradigm for real world impact.  Implications for promising new directions in online group learning will be explored.

Dr. Carolyn Rosé is a Professor of Language Technologies and Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.  Her research program is focused on better understanding the social and pragmatic nature of conversation, and using this understanding to build computational systems that can improve the efficacy of conversation between people, and between people and computers. In order to pursue these goals, she invokes approaches from computational discourse analysis and text mining, conversational agents, and computer supported collaborative learning.  Her research group’s highly interdisciplinary work, published in over 200 peer reviewed publications, is represented in the top venues in 5 fields: namely, Language Technologies, Learning Sciences, Cognitive Science, Educational Technology, and Human-Computer Interaction, with awards or award nominations in 3 of these fields.  She serves as Past President of the International Society of the Learning Sciences and Executive committee member of the Artificial Intelligence in Education Society.  She has served as program co-chair for numerous international conferences, workshops, and symposia.  She also serves as Executive Editor of the International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning and Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies.

1st Call for Participation

Dear Colleagues:

We are calling for your participation at the upcoming Workshop on Education and Social Science Technologies (WESST 2017) to be held on 19-21 July at the School of Computing.  Attendance to the workshop is free of charge and open to the public.

We are calling for students, faculty and interested community members of the public to participate and enjoy the entirely of the workshop.  Of particular interest would be:

  • Faculty members and staff: to attend the research workshop day (20-21 July) and relevant faculty to participate and give talks and issue grand challenge statements.
  • Research students (postgraduate and advanced undergraduate): Tutorials (19 Jul) and research workshops (20-21 Jul) and EdTech hackathon event (19 Jul & 21 Jul)
  • Undergraduate students: EdTech hackathon event (19 Jul & 21 Jul)
  • Government and policy makers: research workshops and grand challenge statements (20-21 Jul)

**Please register for the workshop (even if you are only planning to
attend a part)**:

WESST Organization Committee
Chris Boesch (NUS ALSET), Min-Yen Kan (CS, SoC + NUS ALSET), Tuan Q
Phan (ISA, SoC), Joseph Jay Williams (ISA, SoC)

The inaugural Workshop on Education and Social Science Technologies (WESST 2017)
19-21 July, National University of Singapore

As data and analytics technologies continue to transform education and the social sciences, we face opportunities and challenges. To promote better understanding of how these changes can yield positive impact, we are pleased to announce our inaugural WESST workshop on 19-21 July at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

WESST is co-hosted by the School of Computing (SoC) and the Institute for the Application of Learning Science and Educational Technology (ALSET) at NUS. Over three days, the event will include tutorials and workshops from some of the world’s leading voices in education and social science technology. It will also include a competition for students and researchers with an interest in these technologies.

In addition to highlighting case studies from around the world, we will also showcase how NUS is leading the way in education technology. For example, we will discuss how ALSET is tearing down institutional barriers and assembling one of the most comprehensive educational datasets of its kind, thereby supporting cutting-edge research on the long-term impact of learning interventions.

WESST 2017 builds upon the previous technical programme and expertise of organising the 2015 Workshop Technology for Teaching at Scale, which featured talks on educational technology from leaders in the field.


WESST 2017 will be a three-day workshop featuring key themes in educational technology and computational social sciences.

The preliminary program (current as of 20 June) is:

19 Jul Full-day Parallel Tutorial Sessions on data analytics, social media analytics, natural language processing, and factor analysis.  This includes an introduction to the NUS ALSET data lake, as well as a competition for students and researchers (details to be announced soon).  Venue will be at the STMI and CHI classrooms at Level 3 of the I-Cube building (21 Heng Mui Keng Terrance).

20 Jul Invited Research Workshop featuring global and local experts in educational technology and computational social sciences.  The venue will be Lecture Theatre 19 (LT 19).

21 Jul – Grand Challenge Talks featuring perspectives from stakeholders in government, policy, administration, and research in business, social sciences, and the humanities, as well as a Networking Event.  The venue will be Lecture Theatre 19 (LT 19).

Registration for the event is now open!

For Singapore-local participants, WESST registration is now open.  Registration currently is for overall participation for the event, inclusive of the research workshop, hackathon, and tutorial sessions.  We will separately contact you for your details on which session(s) (hopefully all!) you’d like to attend.

Please register here (outlink to the School of Computing’s registration system).

Registration ensures that we capture proper numbers for catering and logistic considerations.  Thank you for your cooperation!