My Sandbox

sand·box - definition.

ˈsan(d)ˌbäks/  noun

1. NORTH AMERICAN. a shallow box or hollow in the ground partly filled with sand for children to play in.

2. COMPUTING. a virtual space in which new or untested software can be run securely.

Recent Announcements

  • Happy new school year everyone!

    One of my highlights & challenges for this semester will be a collaboration I'm having with European Schoolnet on a whitepaper that aims to pinpoint the best Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence practices used in educational portals and OER repositories for K-12!

    I will keep posting feedback and updates :)
    Posted Sep 13, 2018, 6:50 AM by Irene-Angelica Chounta
  • Master theses projects announced!
    The projects for master theses in the Computer Science Department of UT are out and I'm so excited to have three projects out there: One in Learning Analytics (with Marlon Dumas) and two on Hackathons (with Alexander Nolte and Rajesh Sharma).
    Titles are:

    • Design and Implementation of Computational Models for Learning Analytics at University of Tartu.
    • Predicting hackathon outcomes using machine-learning (Data Analytics)
    • Hackathons as catalysts for future job opportunities
    You can find all the topics (and some more information) here --> ( and please feel free to get in touch if there's more you want to know about
    Posted Aug 27, 2018, 5:26 AM by Irene-Angelica Chounta
  • Back at the office!
    So, I'm back at the office in Tartu University and already overwhelmed by various activities and events (among putting together the syllabus for my master-level course "Introduction to Learning Analytics". I am not complaining though. The past few days have been so informative and enlightening that I wish I could do double as much!
    From August 17th to August 19th, we attended the Estonian Doctoral Summer School of Educational Sciences at Lepanina, Estonia. The doctoral students from the University of Tartu, University of Tallinn (TLU) and the University of Helsinki took the stage and blew my mind awaywith their creativity and solid work! I was super lucky to host a discussion of Digital Technologies and Learning Analytics and to have exceptional researchers in the discussion panel, such as Kairit Tammets, Tobias Ley, Katrin Saks and Leo Siiman (among others!) who shared their knowledge and perspective as food for thought.
    Then, I attended the IEEE Estonia Section meeting (I'm a new IEEE member andreally happy with this opportunity) at Jäneda, Estonia where I gave a talk about our research line on Learning Analytics in the Centre for Educational Technology. More importantly, I had the opportunity to discuss on critical aspects of the application of Learning Analytics, such as privacy and data ownership, with well-established academics from all over Estonia and also to get familiar with the research trends in this magic country (including trying out the Meta2 AR Glasses)! Last but not least, we had a guided tour in the Jäneda Manor which has apparently a most interesting story to tell: the manor was owned byBaroness Maria Zakrevskaya Benckendorff Budberg (Moura) who was believed to be a double spy (for Russia and UK) and the first (?) Bond Girl (more info here:
    And now.... now I'm preparing a talk for tomorrow's EduTech August session, in order to welcome our new master students with some Learning Analytics magic ;) Wish me luck

    Posted Aug 21, 2018, 7:28 AM by Irene-Angelica Chounta
  • 27/04/18: ICLS2018/Festival of Learning @London. What a place to be!
    This year's International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2018) was a blast! Exciting, busy, colourful, informative, transformative, rich! So many inspiring talks and lines of research. The three keynotes - from Iris Tabak on the Quantified Self vs. the Quantified Learner, from Judith Green on Ethnography and from Simon Buckingham Shum on Learning Analytics) was the highlight for me. I wholeheartedly encourage people to visit  the website and look for the video recordings of the keynotes.

    Iris Tabak Judith Green Simon Buckingham Shum

    Other than than, it was so good to meet old friends and get to know some new ones in this Festival of Learning! During the conference, I had the honour to chair a super exciting session on Collaboration - six brilliant papers by six strong research teams, all favourites (link here)! I was (and still am) also proud to give a talk for our common research line with Paulo Carvalho from Carnegie Mellon University, "Will time tell? Exploring the relationship between step duration and student performance" (slides here).

    So, today I will pretty much wrap up my ICLS 2018 experience. Or at least, the "active" part. Cause i am sure that this one will carry on having an effect and an impact for a long time to come. Nothing but good feelings and sweet memories, cheers for the ones to follow!
    Posted Jun 29, 2018, 9:50 AM by Irene-Angelica Chounta
  • 14/06/18: "An educational story as sung by data”

    On Wednesday, June 20th 2018, we will organize a workshop on data preparation and analytics at the University of Tartu, as part of closing the circle for our EdTech (Master on Educational Technologies) this year! The objective of the workshop is to introduce participants to common practices in data preparation and data analysis of log-files produced by Learning Management Systems (LMSs).

    My idea for this workshop is to give our master students the chance to explore their own learning process - as captured by data - and to reflect on their practice both from the perspective of the learner as well as from the viewpoint of the analyst. We will use Jupyter notebooks and R to put together our little story and we will hopefully have fun with it, as well :)

    Posted Jun 18, 2018, 3:14 AM by Irene-Angelica Chounta
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