Learning analytics: Ethical issues and dilemmas

On October 6th, Leah gave a short presentation on key themes and ethical issues identified by the authors of this paper..

Slade, S., & Prinsloo, P. (2013). Learning analytics: Ethical issues and dilemmas. American Behavioral Scientist57(10), 1510-1529. doi:10.1177/000276421347936

…and we had a healthy discussion about data ethics for a learning analytics era.

It’s a complex and multidimensional area, but some universities have already made good headway in developing policy and ethical guidelines:

See for example:
Ethical use of Student Data for Learning Analytics Policy (UK Open University)
Code of practice for learning analytics

Why is learning hard to study?

This week we watched this video from Educause which had various professionals discussing why measuring learning is difficult.

Some key ideas from the video that had us talking were descriptions of the process of learning as a “black box” or “magic”. We tried to bring the discussion of measuring and studying learning into the context of learning analytics.