Big Data Center for Technology-Mediated Education

Advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have created new opportunities for adult education and higher education in a global milieu, punctuated by the digitization of immense volumes of information and the capacity to access and learn from it. Understanding how ICTs may enhance learning at scale has been aided by greater acquisition of big data from varying platforms (e.g., MOOCs, mobile learning, ODeL). Improvements to policy, instructional quality and learning outcomes are areas where research on big data on technology-mediated education has the potential to make a significant impact for human development.
As a leading institution in the study on technology-mediated education in Asia, Beijing Normal University is well-positioned and committed to engage in quality research on big data. Located within the Research Centre for Distance Education, The Big Data Centre for Technology-Mediated Education has been established and will operate for an initial three-year term. The Centre will be internationally oriented and include partners from other organizations around the world. The shared focus is technology-mediated education that targets adult and higher education.

Purpose and Aim

The purpose of the Centre is to conduct research on large data sets retrieved from learners/institutions engaged in some form of technology-mediated education utilized in adult education and higher education. The aim is to provide sound policy guidance and evidenced-based recommendations to enhance learning in these sectors.

The Centre will operate as a collaborative milieu and bring together scholars and practitioners to engage in research on big data. The outlook is international and will promote interdisciplinary collaboration. The Centre will be the first of its kind; devoted solely to research of big data for technology-mediated education.

The Center will be unique in:

(1) promoting interdisciplinary collaboration among educationists, anthropologists, statisticians, computer scientists, teachers and others, and;

(2) creating a trans-border partnership between world-renowned and culturally distinct institutions that will have long-term benefits to each institution and to the societies which they serve.

Benefits and Outcomes

The Centre will be comprised of partners with similar interests and vision. Partners will contribute to the conceptualization of the Center and endeavor to work collaboratively. Some benefits include financial support to fund projects relevant to the purpose and aim of the Center (See Call for Proposals).

Proposed outcomes from this research include 15 journal articles, an international conference and one edited book. Meetings in Beijing, or abroad, will also be organized during the initial three-year term of the project.