Submission Guidelines


General information

Review Process

To maintain the technical quality of the conference as it continues to grow in size and variety, LAK20 continues to use double-blind review for all categories of submission, with the exception of the Doctoral Consortium (for which supervisor letters of support are required) and Practitioner Interactive Demonstrations (as video recordings are very hard to blind).

In double-blind review:

  • Reviewers’ identities are not disclosed to authors, which LAK has always adopted. Moreover, reviewers will respect the spirit of the double-blind process, treating each submission on its own merits, and not seek to research the authors’ identities.
  • Authors should omit from their submission author names, affiliations, acknowledgements, and omit/disguise other details (such as URLs and project/product names) that may disclose identity. Do not eliminate self-references to your published work that are relevant and essential to a proper review of your submission. Instead, write self-references in the third person (e.g. “Previous work by Smith [27] has shown…”). The goal and spirit of double-blind review is to create uncertainty about authorship, which is sufficient to realize most of its benefits.

On the rationale and evidence for double-blind review, see McKinley (2015) and Snodgrass (2007).


Evidence Hub

In order to develop an overview of research evidence in the field, we are once again aligning the EasyChair submission system with the LACE Evidence Hub.  EasyChair will, therefore, ask whether your paper provides positive/negative/ambivalent evidence about four statements. These focus on whether learning analytics support learning, support teaching, are rolled out at scale and are applied ethically. We recognise that papers may not provide evidence in relation to any of these criteria and so your answers to these questions will have no influence on the review of your paper.

For an overview of the current state of the evidence, based on a review of the LACE Evidence Hub, see Ferguson and Clow (2017).

Research Track Guidelines

Submission Types

Full research papers (10 pages, ACM proceedings template, including references) include a clearly explained substantial conceptual, technical or empirical contribution. The scope of the paper must be placed appropriately with respect to the current state of the field, and the contribution should be clearly described. This includes the conceptual or theoretical aspects at the foundation of the contribution, an explanation of the technical setting (tools used, how are they integrated into the contribution), analysis, and results.

Short research papers (6 pages, ACM proceedings template, including references) can address on-going work, which may include a briefly described theoretical underpinning, an initial proposal or rationale for a technical solution, and preliminary results, with consideration of stakeholder engagement issues. We also invite short papers that explicitly address the theme of this year’s conference by reflecting on past, present, and future research foci in the field of learning analytics, along with reflections on the role which LAK has played in shaping our research agendas.

Research posters (3 pages, LAK companion proceedings template, including references) represent a concise report of recent findings or other types of innovative work not ready to be submitted as a full or short research paper. Poster presentations are part of the LAK Poster & Demo session, where authors are given a physical board to hang their posters and the opportunity to discuss it with conference delegates. Alternatively, a poster submission may be work that you prefer to present interactively.

Preparing Your Submission

  • Prepare manuscript using the appropriate template and paying attention to the page limits for a particular submission type. Authors of full and short research papers should use the two-column ACM proceedings format. Authors of research posters should use LAK companion proceedings template

    • LaTeX Instructions: you should download the new ACM Master article template from ACM (.zip file, 8.1MB), and use sample-sigconf.tex template file located in “samples” directory. If you are using Overleaf, you should use the ACM Conference Proceedings “Master” Template available at the following link.

    • Microsoft Word instructions: you should use the two-column “interim” template, which you can download here (.docx template file).  

      NOTE1: ACM very recently introduced a new single-column Word template for specific conferences only. LAK is still using the two-column Word Template (link provided above) so do not use this new Word template. 

      NOTE2: The two-column template for Microsoft Word also requires libertine fonts not available by default on Windows or OSX. Please install the required libertine fonts using this link (.zip file, 3.5MB).

  • Remove all identifying information. Research track submissions use double-blind review process, so make sure to remove all identifying information from the submission. This includes author names at the title page, author names in the headers and footers, author names from PDF metadata, and author names from ACM citation on the title page. Also, make sure to adequately blind self-references if they are clearly revealing authors, such as references to your related prior work.

  • Upload your submission via LAK20 EasyChair submission system. The submission must be before the official deadline (1 October 2019, 23:59 GMT-12:00)

Review Process and Criteria

Each research track submission will be reviewed by at least three reviewers who will provide written feedback and evaluations of each submission. The reviews for each submission will be shared among its reviewers, so that in the case of significant discrepancies, reviewers can discuss and possibly adjust their reviews. 

After all reviews are completed, the Senior Program Committee will be tasked to write meta-reviews for each submission alongside the final recommendation for each submission. The provided recommendations by the Senior Program Committee will be reviewed by the Program Chairs and used to make final decisions for all submissions.

In addition to basic requirements around methodological and conceptual rigour of the presented research, authors are encouraged to specifically address the particular theme for this year’s conference: “Celebrating 10 years of LAK: Shaping the future of the field”. In their contributions, we encourage authors to address some of the following questions:

  1. What are the practical and scholarly implications of the presented work for the next ten years?
  2. What are the challenges of the presented work we need to address to improve its impact in the next ten years?
  3. How can the presented work be practically implemented and adopted?

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the Learning Analytics research community and to better communicate the significance of their study results, we also encourage authors to pay special attention to the following general set of questions:

  • What is the target audience for your study? 
  • Can you justify why you used one specific methodology instead of an alternative? 
  • What is the value and potential impact of your initiative at scale? 
  • What is the most surprising aspect of your results? Was this surprise shared by the people involved?
  • What changes in teaching and learning activities do you envision that could be realistically derived from your work? 

NOTE: If you are a newcomer to the LAK conference, it might be good to review the annual selection of the best papers from previous LAK conferences, published in the Journal of Learning Analytics:


Authors of full research papers will have ≤25 minutes at the conference to present their contribution, followed by 5 minutes for questions. Authors of short papers will have ≤15 minutes to present their contribution, followed by 5 minutes for questions. Authors of research posters will be given a physical board to display their poster during Poster & Demo session and the opportunity to discuss the poster/project with conference delegates. With author permissions, some conference sessions may be recorded and made available after the event.


Full and short research papers will be published in the LAK20 Conference Proceedings, published by ACM and indexed in the ACM Digital Library. Research posters will be published in the LAK20 Companion Proceedings and published by SoLAR and archived on SoLAR’s website.

NOTE: At least one of the authors must register for the conference by the Early bird deadline before the paper can be included in the LAK20 Conference and Companion Proceedings.

Research Track Awards

From the full research papers with the highest review rankings, up to five will be nominated for the ‘Best Full Research Paper Award’. Similarly, from the short research papers with the highest review rankings, up to five will be nominated for ‘Best Short Research Paper Award’. All nominated papers will be identified in the conference program and conference proceedings. A committee formed from current and past LAK program chairs will select the winning paper and the award will be announced during the conference.

Practitioner Track Guidelines

The Practitioner Track provides a way of sharing thoughts and findings that stem from learning analytics project implementations specifically outside the traditional research context. The intention is that these conversations will contribute to a shared understanding of projects, deployments, or interventions, and the factors that influence their success “in the wild”. The Practitioner Chairs will be looking for submissions that offer unique or distinct insight into practical applications, intervention designs, analyses, and/or the processes surrounding their implementation. Valuable learning can be gleaned from projects and studies whether or not they achieved their goals and so submissions will not be rejected on the grounds that the project was unsuccessful. 

Submission Types

Practitioner reports are designed to highlight individual institution or practitioner uses of learning analytics. Topics can range from single implementations of learning analytics tools/initiatives up to the deployment of cross-functional systems or larger projects that have been rolled out at scale. Practitioner reports are part of the main conference schedule and will be held in integrated sessions with research presentations. Practitioner reports may be up to 4 pages in length using the LAK companion proceedings template (including references) and should include:

  • Title (up to 12 words)
  • Abstract (up to 100 words)
  • Keywords (up to 6 keywords)
  • Content should describe each of the following, where applicable: 
    • The problem you are trying to solve
    • Description of the system (e.g. functionality)
    • Synopsis of the implementation process
      • Audience/users (e.g. students, instructors, support staff) and scale (e.g. 10 users)
      • Duration of the project
      • Support (e.g. was the project centrally funded/staffed by your institution)
    • Results/findings of implementation and next steps
      • Key challenges in implementation
      • Notes for practice for other users/implementers

Practitioner posters represent a concise description of a practical learning analytics project implementation which may not be ready to be presented as a practitioner report. Posters are presented during the LAK Poster & Demo session, and authors are given a physical board to present posters and discuss their projects with delegates. This type of submission is also preferred in cases where interactive presentation is more suitable for the particular project. Poster submissions should be up to 2 pages in length using the LAK companion proceedings template (including references).

Practitioner interactive demos provide opportunities to communicate interactive learning analytics tools. Interactive demonstrations are part of the LAK Poster & Demo session, and presenters are given table space and demonstrate their latest learning analytics projects, tools, and systems. Use demos to communicate innovative user interface designs, visualisations, or other novel functionality that tackles a real user problem. Tools may be at an early concept demonstrator stage or relatively mature, all the way through to products. While LAK encourages participation from commercial analytics partners, interactive demos should be built around actual field experience, results, and feedback. Submissions for conceptual products or for products that have not been used by instructors and/or students are unlikely to be accepted. Interactive demo submissions should include a 200-word abstract using the LAK companion proceedings template and a link to a demo movie of no more than five minutes in length.

Suggested Topics

While submissions on all topics related to learning analytics will be considered, these topics are likely to prove most interesting to conference attendees:

  • Institutional Adoption of learning analytics: Case studies outlining how institutions are working to incorporate analytics into regular teaching and learning practice.
  • Lessons learned: after going through a learning analytics project, what lessons were learned in:
      • Implementation: what factors surfaced that affected the success of the project?
      • Outcomes: What were the stated measures of success of the project? Were they met during the implementation? Did other unexpected results appear?
      • Innovative new tools/techniques: Share newly developed tools or approaches to learning analytics that have been implemented at an institution. Reviewers will look for unique characteristics and at how deployment has influenced development.
  • Application of standards: A project making use of data/analytics standards and illustrating the benefits of such an approach.
  • Collaboration and sharing: How are groups of institutions/practitioners partnering to solve shared problems in the learning analytics space?
  • Professional development: How to develop and nurture professional development to support your staff and students to use and apply learning analytics?

Preparing Your Submission

  • Practitioner reports and posters are using double-blind review process, so please remove all identifying details from text. However, Interactive demos do not need to be de-identified since it can be very hard to disguise real systems.
  • The practitioner track submissions should use LAK companion proceedings template
  • Upload your submissions via LAK20 EasyChair submission system.

Review Process and Criteria

Practitioner submissions will be reviewed by at least two reviewers chosen by the Practitioner Chairs. The reviews will be shared between the reviewers, pending final review by the Practitioner Chairs. Submissions with the highest evaluations will be accepted.

The following criteria will guide reviewers when selecting submissions, although we recognise that this list may not be applicable to all submissions. Criteria are provided to guide practitioners in the preparation of their submissions.

  • Implementation track record: The project should have been used by an institution or has been deployed on a learning site. There are no hard guidelines about user numbers or how long the project has been running.
  • Learning/education related: The submission should describe work that addresses learning/academic analytics, either at an educational institution or in an area (such as corporate training, health care or informal learning) where the goal is to improve the learning environment or learning outcomes.
  • Institutional involvement: All submissions should include information collected from people who have used the tool or initiative in a learning environment (such as faculty, students, administrators and trainees).
  • Overall quality, including potential value for LAK attendees: Project success (or failure) accounts are encouraged, but a focus must be placed on what the community of practitioners and researchers can gain from learning about the work. What was successful (and why)? What was unsuccessful (and why)?
  • No sales pitches: While submissions from commercial suppliers are welcomed, reviewers will not accept overt (or covert) sales pitches. Reviewers will look for evidence that the presentation will take into account challenges faced, problems that have arisen, and/or user feedback that needs to be addressed. 


Authors of practitioner reports will have ≤15 minutes at the conference to present their contribution, followed by 5 minutes for questions. With author permissions, some conference sessions may be recorded and made available after the event.  Practitioner posters and interactive demos will be presented interactively at the LAK Poster & Demo session. Posters may also be displayed throughout the conference.


All practitioner contributions will be published in the LAK20 Companion Proceedings, archived with open access on the SoLAR website. 

NOTE: At least one of the authors must register for the conference by the Early bird deadline before the paper can be included in the LAK’20 Companion Proceedings.

Practitioner Track Awards

The Practitioner reports with the highest review rankings will be nominated for the ‘Best Practitioner Report Award’, and identified in the Program and Proceedings. A committee formed from current and past LAK Program Chairs will select the winning paper, and the award will be made during the conference.

Pre-conference Event Track Guidelines

Workshops provide an efficient forum for community building, sharing of perspectives, and idea generation for specific and emerging research topics or viewpoints. Tutorials aim to educate stakeholders on a specific learning analytics topic or stakeholder perspective. Proposals should be explicit regarding the kind of activity participants should expect and fall into one of the following categories: 

  • Mini-tracks/Symposia: Organizers will typically publish a call for papers, select a number of presenters based on a common topic, invite keynoters, and organize the events as a mini conference
  • Interactive workshop sessions: Organizers will typically elicit some shorter input presentations, but emphasis will be placed on discussion, participatory or generative activities
  • Tutorials: Organizers will prepare a more guided introduction to a topic including hands-on activities for the participants
  • Technology sessions (e.g., hackathons, datathons, demo sprints): Organizers will prepare an interactive session that will focus on collaborative exploration or generation of technology

The Chairs will seek to balance proposals from across the continuum.

Please note that all attending organisers must register for their own event (for catering and logistics purposes). However, up to three workshop/tutorial organisers may register for their own event free of charge.

Submission Types

Proposals should be a maximum of four pages using the LAK companion proceedings template (including referenes) and should include the following information in order to enable reviewers to judge the importance, quality, and benefits for the LAK community.

  • Workshop/tutorial title
  • Workshop organizers and the workshop program committee, if applicable) 
  • Workshop/tutorial background – indicating the motivation for the workshop/tutorial topic. Why is this topic of particular interest for LAK 2020? What is its contribution to the research field? If a similar relevant workshop or tutorial has been organised at past learning analytics-oriented conferences then you should describe how your proposal builds upon these past events.
  • Organisational details of proposed event:
      • Type of event (see above for appropriate categories)
      • Proposed schedule and duration (half-day or full-day)
      • Type of participation: e.g., ‘by application’ (i.e., only persons with a paper submission may attend), ‘open’ workshop (i.e., any interested delegate may register to attend), or ‘mixed participation’
      • The workshop/tutorial activities that participants should expect: e.g., symposia elements, birds of a feather, group-based demos, discussion groups, presentations, poster sessions, etc.
      • Expected participant numbers and planned dissemination activities to recruit attendants
      • Required equipment for the workshop/tutorial (projectors (HDMI), whiteboards & pens will be available in every room)
        • pinboard(s) ___ piece(s)
        • flipchart(s)  ___ piece(s) (10 sheets each)
        • moderation cards ___ piece(s)
          • different colors
          • different shapes
          • different sizes
        • Post-its ___ piece(s)
          • different colors
          • different shapes
          • different sizes
        • seating (table & chair positions can be changed during the workshop; here you cross for your prefered seating at the beginning of your workshop)
          • u-shape
          • rows
          • table groups for ___ people each
        • tape
        • apple adapter
        • other adapter: ____________________ 
  • Workshop/tutorial objectives or intended outcomes – What are the objectives that the workshop or tutorial aims to achieve? How will these outcomes be disseminated? (e.g. #hashtag of the event, mailing lists, etc.) Whether publication of the workshop contributions is intended in a joint “LAK Companion Proceedings” (and if so, how many contributions can be expected), or whether the organizers will organize their own publication?
  • Structure and contents of the workshop website
  • References

For workshops with a submission/application process, we suggest that workshop chairs follow this timeline:

  • 1 October 2019: Workshop proposal submission deadline 
  • 15 October 2019: Notification of acceptance
  • 29 October 2019: Workshop calls for participation announced
  • 3 December 2019: Workshop papers submission deadline
  • 9 January 2020: Notifications sent out (prior to early-bird registration deadline of 20 January 2019)
  • 7 February 2020: Final version of paper due for LAK Companion Proceedings

Preparing Your Submission

Review Process and Criteria

Workshop and Tutorial selection will be handled competitively; proposals will be ranked according to six criteria:

  1. Overall relevance to LAK
  2. Relevance to the LAK20 theme
  3. Innovativeness
  4. Overall quality, including potential value for attendees
  5. Extent of interaction
  6. Comprehensiveness of planning

Workshop/tutorial organisers are encouraged to propose innovative and interactive formats, which will be given priority in the selection process. The proposals will be reviewed and evaluated in a double-blind fashion. In case of overlapping proposals, the workshop/tutorial Chairs may propose to merge two workshops or tutorials into a single one.

Workshop/Tutorial Outcomes

Workshop/tutorial descriptions and website links will be collated on the main LAK20 website.


Four-page workshop and tutorial descriptions will be published in the Companion proceedings and archived on SoLAR’s website. Additionally, workshop organisers may choose to publish papers presented in their workshop in the Companion Proceedings, using the LAK companion proceedings template.

In addition to this publication in the Companion Proceedings, workshop/tutorials are encouraged to produce open access documents or notes synthesising key outcomes and agreed follow-on activities – these could be produced during the workshop.

Doctoral Consortium


  • Michael Brown, Iowa State University, USA
  • Simon Buckingham Shum, University of Technology Sydney, AUS
  • Marcus Specht, Delft University of Technology, NL
  • Stephanie Teasley, University of Michigan, USA
  • Barbara Wasson, University of Bergen, NOR

The LAK Doctoral Consortium is a one-day workshop to support emerging scholars in learning analytics by helping them develop productive approaches to studying the intersection of theory, data, and practice in learning analytics, the learning sciences, data sciences, and human-centered computing.

The event will bring together doctoral students from a variety of disciplines working on topics related to learning analytics who are grappling with their dissertation research. The consortium chairs serve as a mentor panel to provide feedback. Doctoral Consortium participants will be given opportunities to present, discuss, and receive feedback on their research in an interdisciplinary and supportive atmosphere. They will also be exposed to a wide range of different analytic approaches, methods, and tools for acquiring data about learners and their learning activities.


The specific objectives of the Doctoral Consortium are to:

  • Provide a setting for mutual feedback on participants’ current research and guidance on future research directions from a mentor panel
  • Create a forum for engaging in dialogue aimed at building capacity in the field with respect to current issues in learning analytics ranging from methods of gathering analytics, interpreting analytics with respect to learning issues, considering ethical issues, relaying the meaning of analytics to impact teaching and learning, etc.
  • Develop a supportive, multidisciplinary community of learning analytics scholars
  • Foster a spirit of collaborative research across countries, institutions and disciplinary background
  • Enhance participating students’ conference experience by connecting participants to other LAK attendees
  • Develop the next generation of learning analytics researchers and active members of SoLAR

The intention of this Doctoral Consortium is to support and inspire students, who are currently enrolled in a formal doctoral programme, during their ongoing research efforts. Ideally, participants will have developed and (in some countries) defended a proposal, but their work will be at a sufficiently early stage that they can still make adjustments based on feedback received at the consortium. They should neither have completed their doctorate, nor officially submitted their thesis prior to the Doctoral Consortium.

Proposal Format & Submission Process

To apply to the Doctoral Consortium, student applicants should submit the following documents as one single PDF file to the LAK20 EasyChair submission system

  1. A summary of your research that is up to six pages long (including all tables, figures and references, except 1 additional page for appendices), using the LAK companion proceedings template. This document should include all the following elements:
    • A 150-word abstract
    • Brief background to the project and identification of the significant problem(s) in the field that it addresses
    • Goals of the research and a clear formulation of the research question(s)
    • An outline of the current knowledge of the problem domain and state of existing solutions
    • A discussion of how the doctoral project’s suggested solution is different, new, or better than existing approaches to the problem
    • A sketch of the research methodology and identification of core methods/techniques, including reference to ethical considerations
    • Current status of the work and results achieved so far (e.g literature review, submitted or accepted papers, prototypes designed or built, experiments carried out, etc.)
  2. A supplementary page with additional information addressed to the Doctoral Consortium committee to help us to help you. This should include:
    • A statement of the particular issues/problems that you want to discuss, and/or types of feedback that might be particularly useful
    • Names of LAK researchers from whom you would like to receive feedback on your work. We are happy to contact them and ask if they would be willing to drop into the consortium for your session, visit your poster, or just meet up at LAK.
  3. A letter of recommendation from your supervisor/advisor with an assessment of the current status of your work, a brief summary of how attending the Doctoral Consortium is likely to benefit your work, and an expected date for dissertation completion.

Review Process

Doctoral Consortium co-chairs will review applications, with the help of additional Program Committee members where necessary. Participants will be selected on the basis of:

  • Academic quality of their proposal
  • Relevance and potential contribution to the learning analytics field
  • Potential for the student and the dissertation work to benefit from participation in the doctoral consortium
  • Support of the dissertation advisor for participation and its potential benefit.

Students should not have participated in a previous LAK Doctoral Consortium. Our aim is to bring together a diverse cohort of emerging scholars of learning analytics.


The Doctoral Consortium will take place over the whole of Tuesday 24 March, before the main conference. As in previous years, the format interleaves research presentations and small-group discussions, so students have opportunities for in-depth conversations about their work. A plenary discussion on career development concludes the day. All participants are also encouraged to join the Doctoral Consortium dinner with the mentor team to continue the conversation. Participants’ papers and posters are published in the Companion Proceedings. 

To help disseminate their work to all conference attendees, students will also present their work in the main LAK Poster session, and will be entered for the LAK Best Poster Award.

Financial Support

As in previous years, for this DC event we will strive to provide financial support to cover costs related to the LAK conference registration, accommodation for two nights, and a potential contribution towards other travel-related expenses. Some funds are already confirmed for SoLAR student members to cover a flat amount of their expenses.