(Note: Please skip the first two paragraphs if you want to only read about my experience in the EC-TEL conference itself right from Day 1)
It was the 8th of June when I was anxious to hear about the decision of the EC-TEL full research paper acceptance. Finally, all that waiting did not disappoint and soon the nervous energy turned into more of positivity and self-confidence. As a non-European, the first thing to worry now was to get a approved UK Visa as the conference was organized in Leeds, UK! Although it was not much of a hassle, it was the intital road-block separating me from attending the first conference during my first year of my PhD.
Great news for the #multimodal #LearningAnalytics community, our paper with @m_a_s_c @HDrachsler @marcuspecht titled "Multimodal Analytics for Real-time Feedback in Co-located Collaboration" got accepted as a Full Research paper at @ECTELconference . Leeds it is! #ectel2018— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) June 8, 2018
After all the preparations, the day i.e., 2nd September arrived and I started my journey from Amsterdam to Leeds. Although I had a smooth experience with the flight, it soon turned into utter dismay when I was wandering through the campus of University of Leeds after getting down from the bus near WestGate. It took me quite a bit of time to reach my accommodation in Storm Jameson Court in the university campus. It could be attributed to my own fault of not taking a taxi directly to my accommodation and also the confusing nature of the signboards in the campus. Nevertheless, the locals were really helpful and would always hop in to make sure that I found my way!
On 3rd September, the EC-TEL conference started with the Doctoral Consortium where 16 PhD researchers presented their research which somewhat fit into the broad theme of Technology Enhanced Learning and Learning Analytics. It took place in two rooms. In our room, the topics of research ranged from multimodal analytics, feedback assessment, web navigation behaviour to identification of role models in online communities, self-regulated learning. The participant base was quite diverse with people from UK, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, USA, Japan and Netherlands. Every participant received critical feedback and constructive suggestions from the doctoral consortium organizers and the other participants. We also got an opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation with the senior researchers and mentors during the coffee breaks. At the end, the rapporteurs summed up the discussions and we discussed the emerging problems in our research and also got career advice. The day ended with a trip to a pub in Roxy lanes in the Leeds city centre. Here we enjoyed drinks, networking with fellow researchers and ended the night by bowling. The proceedings of the Doctoral Consortium will be published in CEUR proceedings in December, 2018.
Intense discussions about career and academic issues during the final moments of the Doctoral Consortium in @ECTELconference with @phish108 @mkalz @houshuang #dcectel18 #ectel18 #ECTEL2018 pic.twitter.com/zendu75NN0— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 3, 2018
Oh yes, this how you end a doctoral consortium with other attendees and conference members @ECTELconference !! #dcectel18 #ectel18 #ECTEL2018 #sambitphd Great organization by @eateleu @mkalz @phish108 @houshuang A night to remember and network pic.twitter.com/Lpp7glfgHq— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 3, 2018
Second day i.e., 4th September was the workshop day. There were multiple parallel workshop sessions on different themes with one workshop before lunch was particularly interesting for me on the use of xAPI and beyond. Here our group had brainstorming on the possible problems that can arise on building a multimodal learning analytics architecture using xAPI. We also listened to and discussed with other four workshop paper presenters. The tweets below sum up the workshop paper presenters at xAPI workshop.
Overview of why #xapi and the ecosystems it works in the #saila workshop from @phish108 @houshuang with @HDrachsler in @ECTELconference #ectel18 #ectel2018 . Great to see people from varied backgrounds joining us and sharing! pic.twitter.com/F5yL80N1uI— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 4, 2018
First workshop paper presentation about #xapi tracking in the German schools in #saila workshop in @ECTELconference by Jan Renz #ECTEL2018 #ectel18 with @HDrachsler @phish108 @houshuang pic.twitter.com/EM5zdxM9mn— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 4, 2018
Insightful last workshop paper presentation about using multimodal learning analytics #mmla with #xapi in #saila workshop at @ECTELconference by @ruizcalleja from Tallinn university #ECTEL2018 #ectel18 with @HDrachsler @houshuang @phish108 pic.twitter.com/CqUDEPOThU— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 4, 2018
Intense brainstorming sessions during the #saila workshop about multimodal learning analytics #mmla with @SuperHeroBooth and @ruizcalleja in @ECTELconference @HDrachsler @phish108 @houshuang #ECTEL2018 #ectel18 pic.twitter.com/5imoRpnGB8— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 4, 2018
Then we started preparing for the football match after lunch which has been a tradition in EC-TEL each year.
Finally, the indoor football match started in the evening in the sports hall before the welcome drinks and it was a lot of fun. There were times where I was breathless but I enjoyed each second as it was almost 6 years after which I got an opportunity to move my legs between the goal post. We (Trula’s Boys) lost to Tobias’ Tigers but I enjoyed my goal keeping moments the most.
We had the informal opening of the conference after the football match during the welcome drinks.
Nice informal opening of @ECTELconference by @HDrachsler, @tamsinttj and other organizing team #ECTEL2018 #ectel18 Tomorrow will be the big day with the conference and gala dinner! https://t.co/UtQc1KQTfU— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 4, 2018
The big day (5th September) i.e., the main conference day was supposed to be a long day with a grand ending with the Gala dinner at Royal Armories in Leeds. The EC-TEL conference was opened by Hendrik Drachsler who was the general chair of the conference. The opening mentioned the diversity and difficulty of the conference. 41 different countries submitted papers and acceptance rate was only 29%!
Then the first keynote was started by Allison Littlejohn on “Lifelong professional learning”. Some major discussion points from her keynote can be found below in the tweets.
Eye opening issue about accelerated anti-microbial resistance at @ECTELconference by @allisonl as a part of the opening keynote. It's high time that we rise up and act! #ECTEL2018 #ectel18 pic.twitter.com/jSGdN8aBtt— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 5, 2018
Finally, the opening ended with the demo pitches whose demo was shown in the sports hall in the whole afternoon. The funny thing was that every conference attendee was given TELCOINS to invest in the demo that they like the most. The demo with the most TELCOINS was declared the winner.
In your #ECTEL2018 conference bag you will find a complementary sum of 3000 TELCOINS to invest during the demo sessions on Wednesday. Feel what it's like to be an investor for a day, see the glimmer in their eyes when you show your slip them your pecuniary support :-) pic.twitter.com/kD6s841Mw0— Raymond Elferink (@RaymondElferink) September 3, 2018
Then the parallel conference sessions started in different rooms. Each presenter for a full research paper was supposed to speak for 15 minutes (while this was 10 minutes for a short research paper) followed by a discussion and Q&A of 5 minutes. I joined the session 1C initially as it was more close to my research interest and it also featured 2 best paper nominations in it. The whole session had 3 full papers and 1 short paper.
Started 1c in Roger Stevens lecture hall 8 with overcrowded house in the @ECTELconference chaired by @daviniahl #ECTEL2018 #ectel18 with 2 best papers part of the session!! Looking forward to some interesting works in #collaborative #Learning pic.twitter.com/W5m5Dgw2BI— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 5, 2018
Insightful presentation on exploring causality using eye-tracking in collaborative learning which is also a best paper nominated work at @ECTELconference #ectel2018 #ectel18 pic.twitter.com/MooUKzn4sj— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 5, 2018
As rightly said by one of my colleagues, Marcel Schmitz, there were a lot of doors to great knowledge and experiences in the EC-TEL conference presentation rooms.
The healthcare track was also co-located with the main conference because of its proximity to the Technology Enhanced Learning.
Interesting presentation in the #ECTEL2018 #healthcare track showing that operation outcomes and speed improve further down the operating list. e.g. surgeons & patients may benefit from starting their list with a VR practice operation. #MedEd #HEETEL pic.twitter.com/LddLBnMrfV— TamsinTreasure-Jones (@tamsinttj) September 5, 2018
@HDrachsler talking about an #EU #patientsafety project SafePAT - interesting differences found between countries and progress made on sharing best practice #ECTEL2018 #healthcare track #meded pic.twitter.com/zgRJL8LTm4— EC-TEL (@ECTELconference) September 5, 2018
Session 3C was my turn to disseminate our results on “Multimodal Analytics for Real-time Feedback in Co-located Collaboration”. Before my presentation, there were 2 presentations out of which one presentation was on “Multimodal Hub” by one of my former colleague from Open Universiteit, Jan Schneider.
Me during the last presentation of the innovative learning infrastructure session on multimodal analytics to give real-time feedback in co-located collaboration at @ECTELconference #ectel2018 #ectel18 #sambitphd #phdchat #PhD #multimodality https://t.co/p9dPkvDvnG— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 5, 2018
Multimodal learning hub under the umbrella of innovative learning infrastructures started in session 3c by @SuperHeroBooth at @ECTELconference #ECTEL2018 #ECTEL18 . Really a next generation learning approach as said by @dimstudi0 earlier! pic.twitter.com/PCwEUmu3JK— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 5, 2018
We explored the different demo sessions before proceeding for the Gala Dinner. One of the demos that I liked the most was from Russia who used Virtual Reality to train apprentices to repair and maintain electrical substations.
We also made a promotion for the JTELSS 2019 as the participants of JTELSS 2018 which is also organized for TEL researchers by European Association for Technology Enhanced Learning (EATEL) who organize EC-TEL too.
#JTELSS at #ECTEL2018 - meet the team!— JTELSS (@jtelss) September 5, 2018
Great opportunity to learn more about the @eateleu summer school on Technology Enhanced Learning. We can share first-hand experience! Talk to us! pic.twitter.com/rEukyL2m0m
We are pleased to announce the call for bids to host the 15th EATEL Summer School on Technology Enhanced Learning 2019 #JTELSS19. Interested organisations should submit their bid by October 8, 2018 by filling the following form: https://t.co/99EgEa3wCs.#JTELSS #PhD #TEL #EdTech pic.twitter.com/LwXE9ps0sX— JTELSS (@jtelss) August 29, 2018
Now came the best time to relax and enjoy the Gala dinner at the Royal Armories after a long walk from the University of Leeds.
RT ECTELconference: RT ECTELconference: The walk to the Royal Armouries (#ECTEL2018 #ECTEL18 Gala Dinner) takes about 30 minutes. We'll be meeting outside The Edge at 6:45pm to walk there. You could instead book a taxi. If you would like to do this then … pic.twitter.com/DEuwmpRcdH— Ralf Klamma (@klamma) September 5, 2018
Here, we enjoyed the rich cultural heritage, collection of weapons, armories, knight fight, good company, food and drinks. Last but not the least, the best demo and best paper award was also announced at the end.
An incredible night with Knights @RoyalArmouries tonight with a super shiny audience too! You guys @ECTELconference were brilliant. #eventprofs #history #ECTEL2018 @RobertJTemple @ClaudiaJazz pic.twitter.com/pwyXaJOiW5— Histrionics (@allthehistory) September 5, 2018
Getting a clue of the #360degree experience from @DavidWortley, jump into the #ECTEL2018 Leeds Royal Armories Medieval Combat Conference Dinner if you missed it https://t.co/kGsK9C5Bww and there are more 360 degree videos from #ectel18 at Davids @YouTube channel— HDrachsler (@HDrachsler) September 6, 2018
The final day of the conference i.e., 6th September started with the keynote of David Wortley followed by the Eposter Barcamp, some learning design paper presentation sessions and then ended with the kenote by Carolyn from Carnegie Mellon University. The most fascinating thing about the poster session was the use of digital posters instead of the traditional paper posters. At the end, the award for the best poster was given to the participants from the DIPF, Germany.
Opening keynote of the last conference day by @DavidWortley on impact of disruptive digital technologies on education at @ECTELconference #ECTEL2018 #ECTEL18 streaming live on Facebook!! The funny thing was the ghost of Wortley! pic.twitter.com/XZ0wlUNnu6— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 6, 2018
All the posters in the Eposter session can be found here:
25 #ECTEL2018 #ePosters are now published on the ECTEL2018 ePoster Showcase https://t.co/EhKcs177X6 You can start exploring these great resources before the conference in preparation for the exciting ePoster #BarCamp on Thursday 6th. pic.twitter.com/oFixUAs3IS— Learning Toolbox (@LTBePosters) August 31, 2018
In the closing session the next year’s venue for EC-TEL was announced which will be organized by TU Delft with Marcus Specht as the local chair.
Goodbye to such a wonderful conference and organization by @tamsinttj and closing by @HDrachsler and all organizers at @ECTELconference #ECTEL2018 #ECTEL18 Now looking forward to next #ectel2019 in @tudelft @EEMCS_TUD ! pic.twitter.com/lkFxNoEaNe— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 6, 2018
#ECTEL2018 now @klamma annouce the location for #ECTEL2019 and the winner is ..... @tudelft with the local chair @marcuspecht awesome back to #Netherlands after many years. Congrats! pic.twitter.com/5Z9EP7FNil— HDrachsler (@HDrachsler) September 6, 2018
I forgot to mention that this year EC-TEL had an intersting option for industry and practitioner papers to be published as a part of the CEUR proceedings in which I was one of the co-editor in the first year of my PhD! That was a lot of responsibility but at the end it was exciting.
Our joint @HPI_DE & @WHO #ECTEL2018 practitioner paper "#OpenWHO: Integrating Online Knowledge Transfer into Health Emergency Response" with @heini_utunen @janprenz @ursula_zhao and @GayaG is available for free https://t.co/CtySUkKeHe as well as our slides https://t.co/wHOjIVMBso— Tobias Rohloff (@tobiasrohloff) September 6, 2018
To sum up, EC-TEL had participants from diverse communities and if you have reached the last paragraph then you can clap for yourself as this was a long read of the tweet threaded story. This only gives you a bird’s eye view of the conference from my perspective which leaves some aspects like the details of all the workshops and conference sessions that I have not been part of. It was a great delight to meet researchers from my field of interest like Stian, Mutlu Cukurova and Adolfo Ruiz Calleja who work with Multimodal Learning Analytics. I also got a lot of feedback from them regarding my work and we discussed about future collaboration potential. I would recommend everyone to submit a research paper or organize a workshop to meet the community out there and get their valuable feedback! Moreover, my tweet count increased from 520 to 650 and I got around 30 more followers! I would also like to extend the invitation to join EC-TEL, 2019 on behalf of Marcus Specht as it is being organized in TU Delft which is my alma mater. Some of the other interesting things that could not be covered above are mentioned below in the tweets:
Feeling honoured for receiving the Martin Wolpers Award for best PhD project at the @jtelss summer school! 🤴 Soon the video promo of my PhD project shown today at #ECTEL2018 on the big screen will be available online🥇🎥#PhDaward #Multimodal #Tutor #JTELSS pic.twitter.com/8RXjNwhCnH— Daniele Di Mitri (@dimstudi0) September 6, 2018
Everyone attending the doctoral consortium @ECTELconference should definitely consider joining #jtelss19 to exchange ideas, network and get feedback #dcectel18 #ECTEL2018 #ectel18. It's a great platform that you should experience once each year during PhD! https://t.co/OR2wZNRn5D— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 3, 2018
Some of the goodies and accessories that leave a indelible mark even after the conference can be found here:
Missing the nice goodies and accessories of the @ECTELconference #ECTEL2018 #ectel18 Now time to welcome the new #ECTEL2019 at @tudelft @EEMCS_TUD with @marcuspecht managing the local operations! pic.twitter.com/R0txpgTlji— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 7, 2018
My full research paper, presentation and other details can be found here:
If anyone missed my presentation in the @ECTELconference , you can find my presentation here: https://t.co/6op63xW87p— Sambit Praharaj (@SambitIllumina) September 8, 2018
Also my paper can be found for downloading here: https://t.co/D3QrSYcWlZ#ECTEL2018 #ectel18
Looking forward to a workable version of my prototype in #ectel2019 https://t.co/2lgvrBE3lp
(Note: This is my first Blog!!)