Postdoc Researcher – Learning Analytics, Incentives and Decision-Making in Education

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    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
    Cultural studies
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    29/03/2018 22:00 - UTC
    Netherlands › Amsterdam

Education serves many objectives and in the complex process of schooling, different stakeholders and actors can be identified. Quite often, the objectives of different parties are relatively well-aligned. Yet, objectives and interests can deviate significantly, particularly when high-stakes decisions are made. Two examples, specific to the Dutch educational context, are the end-of-primary school advice used for determining students’ eligibility for secondary education and academic dismissal policies in higher education. A first objective of this postdoctoral position is to properly understand the incentives that different actors face in these instances and how this affects the potential to realise objectives of different stakeholders. For the latter, quasi-experimental evaluation studies will be conducted.

The recent surge in data collected from the interaction of users with educational and information technology has attracted much attention from educational policy makers, researchers, and practitioners alike and is seen as a promising approach for advancing our understanding of the learning process. This promise motivated the emergence of a new research field, called learning analytics. Yet, large challenges remain in the integration of learning analytics with educational theory and research. Also, it is still largely unclear how to responsibly exploit these vast amounts of data with respect to data-driven decision-making in education. A second objective of this postdoctoral position is to further advance the field of learning analytics using a multi-disciplinary approach, thereby bridging gaps between educational theory, learning analytics data and evidence-based innovations in education. For this, an extensive overview of learning analytics and digital tools currently used in education is to be conducted. Field experiments will be designed, implemented and evaluated in different educational settings, with the purpose to study the effectiveness or efficiency of these tools.


The initial appointment will be for a period of 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it will be extended for another year. Information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment can be found at our website and include for example:

•Remuneration of 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance;
•Solid pension scheme (ABP);
•A minimum of 29 holidays In case of full-time employment;
•A wide range of sports facilities, which staff may use at a modest charge.

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and ranges from a minimum of € 3238,00 gross per month up to a maximum of € 4084,00 gross per month (salary scale 10), based on full-time employment.

Selection process

Applicants are requested to write a letter in which they describe their abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and the names and contact details of two references. Applications – in a single pdf-file only – should be emailed with the vacancy number in the subject line.

Application deadline: 29 March 2018
Job interview(s): From 9 April 2018
Start date: Negotiable, but preferably May 2018.

Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.

Additional comments

For additional information please contact dr. Chris van Klaveren (associate professor education sciences & director of Amsterdam Center for Learning Analytics [ACLA]).

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

• PhD degree in behavioural or educational sciences, public policy or program evaluation, or adjacent area;
• Strong interest in empirical analysis, education and behavioural insights;
• Competence in causal impact evaluations;
• Excellent ability to communicate in written and spoken English;
• Good social skills, ability to work independently, and strong scientific motivation;
• Ability to communicate in spoken Dutch is a prerequisite.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
1081 HV
De Boelelaan 1105

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EURAXESS offer ID: 286484
Posting organisation offer ID: 45984