Here Be Dragons: Mapping Student Responsibility in Learning Analytics

Prinsloo, Paul and Slade, Sharon (2016). Here Be Dragons: Mapping Student Responsibility in Learning Analytics. In: Anderson, Mark and Gavan, Collette eds. Developing Effective Educational Experiences through Learning Analytics. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, pp. 170–188.



Learning analytics is an emerging but rapidly growing field seen as offering unquestionable benefit to higher education institutions and students alike. Indeed, given its huge potential to transform the student experience, it could be argued that higher education has a duty to use learning analytics. In the flurry of excitement and eagerness to develop ever slicker predictive systems, few pause to consider whether the increasing use of student data also leads to increasing concerns. This chapter argues that the issue is not whether higher education should use student data, but under which conditions, for what purpose, for whose benefit, and in ways in which students may be actively involved. The authors explore issues including the constructs of general data and student data, and the scope for student responsibility in the collection, analysis and use of their data. An example of student engagement in practice reviews the policy created by the Open University in 2014. The chapter concludes with an exploration of general principles for a new deal on student data in learning analytics.

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