Leadership Academy

LA and AI Executive Leadership Academy



Abelardo Pardo is Professor and Head of School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences at The University of Adelaide, Australia. His research interests include the design and deployment of technology to increase the understanding and improve digital learning experiences. More specifically, his work examines the areas of learning analytics, personalized active learning, and technology for student support.

Shane Dawson is the Executive Dean Education Futures, Co-Director of the Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L) and Professor of Learning Analytics at the University of South Australia. As a founding executive member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research, past keynote presenter, program and conference chair of the International Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference and an inaugural co-editor of the Journal for Learning Analytics. His current research interests relate to complex systems and academic leadership to aid adoption and application of learning analytics at scale.


Research in the field of Learning Analytics has made significant strides. However, the potential of LA has remained largely untapped as the transition from small-scale research endeavors to institutionally wide impact has not been realized. Effective leaders are needed who can navigate the complexities of learning environments, organizational policies, and external practices. Leadership is the key to bridging the gap between promising research and meaningful educational outcomes. For the first time in LAK conferences, we are hosting the LA and AI Leadership Academy. 

The LA and AI Leadership Academy for Learning Analytics is an exclusive and competitively selected workshop. The Academy is crafted to empower leaders in education, research labs, or industry roles to develop the skills, mindsets, and peer networks to enact systems-level change within their institution. This comprehensive workshop will immerse participants in the pivotal role that leadership plays in igniting change, implementing effective strategies, fostering innovations, driving impactful research, and deploying LA research for impact. Attendees of the Academy, will enhance their understanding and capabilities of  LA, developing LA teams, and planning policy and strategies. Attendees will also forge valuable long-term connections with peers and mentors – networks that will provide ongoing support in navigating the complexities of leadership, extending far beyond the duration of the event. We invite you to apply to the 2nd annual LA and AI leadership Academy and become a catalyst for change and help shape the future of the field. 

Academy Agenda:

  • Framing of participant leadership and career goals
  • Discussion of leadership qualities and attributes
  • Review of complexity leadership in the context of AI and LA disruption
  • Barriers to change in complex systems
  • Overview of the SPARK framework
  • Review successful and unsuccessful case studies of LA and AI institutional adoption
  • Co-design a LA and AI centre framing a leadership strategy and actions
  • Design a personalised strategy plan for your future role and context
  • Mentoring discussions and framing of future leadership goals and career guidance

Workshop Outcomes:

Outcomes of the session include:

  • Creation of a personalized strategy to embrace a culture of innovation in your workplace context;
  • Personalized career goals and strategies;
  • Established network of peers for long-term leadership support and advice; and
  • Individual mentoring and connection with established LA and AI leaders.

Application process:

This workshop is ideal for those interested in building their leadership capabilities in the field of AI and LA. The workshop is designed to equip future leaders with the skills and know-how to transition LA and AI innovations into mainstream practice. The workshop will challenge current leadership models and pose new frameworks to help existing and emerging leaders navigate the complexity of LA and AI. If you are engaged in LA and AI initiatives and looking to develop your leadership skills we invite you to apply, regardless of your specific organizational leadership role.

Proposal Format & Submission Process

To apply to the LA and AI Leadership Academy applicants need to address the following points in a maximum of one page. Applications should be submitted via easychair here: https://easychair.org/my/conference?conf=lak25

  1. Provide a summary of your academic/ industry background and workplace context 
  2. Detail your stage of career and future leadership ambitions 
  3. Given your role, what are the leadership challenges you see yourself facing over the short and mid term? 
  4. Describe your personal goals for the workshop 

Review Process

The LA and AI Academy chairs will review all applications. Participants will be selected on the basis of:

  1. Overall fit for the leadership program based on current or planned  institutional leadership roles
  2. Future goals for LA and AI leadership
  3. Representativeness of the broader LA community to reflect our diversity


The LA and AI Academy will take place during the pre LAK25 conference, to be held in Dublin, Ireland, March 3-7, 2024.  The format interleaves research presentations and small-group discussions, so attendees have opportunities for in-depth conversations about their work. A keynote discussion on leadership and career development will conclude the workshop. All participants are encouraged to join the LA academy dinner with mentors and peers to help build lasting networks. 


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