Strategic Plan 2020 – April 2021

Goals - April 2021

  1. Increase the diversity and inclusivity of the SoLAR Community
  2. Expand impact and increase understanding of learning analytics
  3. Communicate the value of membership to all members
  4. Increase overall engagement within the SoLAR Community


In addition to the SoLAR Executive, SoLAR Working Groups assist in furthering the vision and mission and include:

  1. Communications: to oversee the internal and external communications of the Society
  2. Education: to promote the development of high-quality Learning Analytics educational resources
  3. Events: to encourage and support the community in hosting learning analytics related events to further the mission of the Society
  4. Inclusion: to develop and implement initiatives aimed to promote, elevate and foster an open, diverse, and inclusive environment
  5. Journal: to create and disseminate new tools, techniques, study transformations, and provide ongoing evaluation and critique of conceptual, technical and practice outcomes.
  6. Membership: to work on initiatives to expand membership benefits and increase overall membership for the Society.
  7. Special Interest Groups: to promote and support the establishment of SIGs within the Society

GOAL 1: Increase the diversity and inclusivity of the SoLAR community

AIM: SoLAR should be a diverse and inclusive society. This is critical to (i) our aspiration to be a truly international society, (ii) maintaining the intellectual health of the field, and (iii) preventing group-think. We need to continue to diversify in aspects such as geography, gender, ethnicity, discipline, methodology etc.

Priorities Actions Measures - Current Targets Enablers
  • 1.1 Promote regional/local events
  • Promote LA in underrepresented regions
  • Promote local LASI events and SIGs
  • Collaborate with an industry event
  • 2 events in 2018, 2 events in 2017
  • 2 events in 2016, 5 events in 2015
  • 4 events in 2014

Note: No statistics received from 2019 events

  • Increase 50% number of events held in 2018 and establish a baseline of the participants
  • Events
  • 1.2 Cooperate with other societies
  • Promote transition pathways from other research fields
  • Alliance
  • Establish with another organization
  • Executive
  • 1.3 Host online events
  • Assist local areas in hosting or guesting SoLAR webinar/podcast series
  • 7 webinars (participants - min. 127, max. 726;
  • 6 podcast episodes (plays - min. 96, max. 469;
  • Increase participation in online events by 10%
  • Communications
  • Events
  • 1.4 Promote active development of graduate students and early-career researchers
  • SoLAR Scholarships for Doctoral Consortium students
  • LAK conference scholarships for ECR
  • Erik Duval Scholarships for LASI
  • DC - 11 Scholarships - 4M, 7F; 4 North America, 4 Europe, 2 Australia, 1 India
  • Conference 2:1M, 1F; 1 South America, 1 Africa
  • Erik Duval - none in 2020 due to COVID-19
  • Maintain financial support
  • LAK
  • LASI
  • Inclusion
  • 1.5 Create a pool of expert speakers in learning analytics from a wide and diverse base
  • Stage 1 - Executive and Working Group team members to commence database
  • Stage 2 - Request input from community members
  • Baseline
  • Have 5 experts by Dec 2020
  • 10 experts by Mar 2021
  • Communication
  • 1.6 Promote inclusive learning analytics research and practice
  • Maintain the list of educational resources that raise awareness and promote work that contributes to inclusive learning analytics
  • Invite contributions specifically targeting inclusive LA research & practice from the community to existing communication channels including JLA and LAK21.
  • Deploy actions across other elements in the Society to actively promote education measures against discrimination
  • The current web page that establishes SoLAR’s commitment to tackling discrimination
  • Current membership and diversity of Inclusion working group
  • Establish page and announce to members
  • Host an inclusion session at LAK21
  • Communication
  • Inclusion
  • Education

GOAL 2: Expand impact and increase understanding of learning analytics

AIM: While knowledge of learning analytics is growing, we need to keep alive the discussion about its challenges, opportunities and relevance to practice ensuring this understanding is accessible to target audiences.

Priorities Actions Measures - Current Targets Enablers
  • 2.1 Maintain the Journal of Learning Analytics as a scientific research publication
  • Evaluate publication processes for improvement
  • Mentor new authors
  • 2020: 39 Authors; 72% first time, 28% repeat
  • Authors Demographics: 49% USA, 36% Europe, 5% Australia, 5% Canada, 5% China
  • Downloads 3,828 on 7(1); Per article: 638. For past 12 months Avg article DPM: 5468
  • Increase readership by 10 %
  • Journal
  • Inclusion
  • 2.2 Promote and sustain collaboration with EdTech industry
  • Create a relationship with new industry partners
  • Sustain relationship with existing industry partners/sponsors
  • Grow Practitioner Track at LAK
  • Avg Prac Submissions 21 for the past 2 years
  • 3 major sponsors/ partnerships
  • 2 new partnerships
  • Increase Prac submission by 20%
  • Executive
  • 2.3 Make leading research more accessible
  • Maintain LAK conference scholarship
  • Maintain LASI scholarships
  • Maintain webinar/podcast series
  • Launch and maintain a blog
  • Publish White Papers
  • LAK 526 participants
  • LASI 136 participants (2019)
  • 1 white paper
  • 12 blog stories
  • 6 webinars
  • 6 podcasts
  • Journal
  • Events Inclusion
  • Education
  • Communication
  • 2.4 Develop mentorship and training opportunities for writing for publication
  • Run workshop(s) at LAK, LASI or online
  • Create mentor database and match to mentees
  • Number and format of workshops
  • 1 event by Dec 2020
  • 2 events by March 2021
  • Education
  • Communication
  • 2.5 Create and sustain bridges/linkages with sister research communities
  • Collaborate on government/industry white paper
  • Discuss focus for future White Papers
  • Number of formal agreements
  • Number of white papers in progress
  • 1 white paper published by Dec 2020
  • Education
  • Executive

GOAL 3: Communicate the value of membership to all members

AIM: SoLAR is a membership-based society. To grow, we must provide inherent value to our SoLAR members to continue the growth of the community. SoLAR membership provides not only funding opportunities but collaborative opportunities across institutions and continents.

Priorities Actions Measures - Current Targets Enablers
  • 3.1 Articulate values linked to SoLAR membership
  • Update membership benefits on the website
  • Increase member engagement with SoLAR
  • 16% renew each year
  • 45% North America
  • 27% Europe/UK
  • 16% Australia/NZ
  • 8% Asia
  • 2% South America
  • 1% Africa/Middle East
  • Retain core members from year to year
  • Understand the needs of the core members
  • Increase the percentage of newsletter subscriptions, with a particular focus on regions outside of North America
  • Membership
  • Executive
  • 3.2 Increase mentorship and networking activities for members
  • Provide small-scale training/mentorship programs for members
  • Launch early and mid-career researcher development workshops
  • Launch Senior Leadership meet-ups and/or workshops
  • Provide “spotlight space” on the website to expand research from members
  • Number and type of current member activities and workshops
  • Number of participants
At least 1 event for each target group

  • 1 Event by Dec 20
  • 2 Event by March 21
  • 5 bios of members volunteering for working groups featured in Solar external communication
  • Membership
  • Education
  • Communication
  • 3.3 Certain content to remain open
  • Open access to white papers, research, recordings on the website without the firewall
  • 2 White papers
  • Promote resources regularly
  • Communication
  • 3.4 Broaden working group memberships
  • Distribute call for participation
  • Recognize the commitment and efforts of working group members
  • Working group Membership numbers
  • Each working group recruits at least one non-Exec to serve with them
  • Each WG identifies at least one activity where non-Exec can engage
  • Highlighting members in the newsletter for joining the WG voluntarily
  • Executive
  • Working Group Leads

Goal 4: Increase overall engagement within the SoLAR community

AIM: We should not be closed to ourselves. How we can engage with others to better promote learning analytics?

Priorities Actions Measures - Current Targets Enablers
  • 4.1 Promote participation of members in working groups
  • Provide clear information on how to get involved
  • Identify clear benefits for engagement with Working Groups
  • Run community surveys to see who would be willing to participate and then engage with them.
  • Diversity of Participants’ demographic distributions
  • Increase by 10%
  • Communication
  • Membership
  • 4.2 Organize joint events or in-cooperation events with other societies
  • Expand the engagement with IAALDE
  • Expand the engagement with MoU with ASCILITE
  • Explore other events to propose in-cooperation
  • Level of engagement compared to previous years
  • An increase on engagement
  • Executive
  • 4.3 Increase two-way communication with SIGS and sub-groups
  • Ask sub-groups to report back on their activities to SoLAR instead of existing on their own
  • No formal feedback mechanism in place
  • SIGs report included in the AGM report
  • SIGs
  • Executive
  • 4.4 Continue current initiatives aimed at the community
  • Continue newsletter, podcast, webinar
  • Continue website (job listings, resources, etc)
  • Invite member input
  • Number and diversity of the participants
  • Increasing participation and diversity
  • Communication

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