Student data privacy in MOOCs: a sentiment analysis

Prinsloo, Paul; Slade, Sharon and Khalil, Mohammad (2019). Student data privacy in MOOCs: a sentiment analysis. Distance Education, 40(3) pp. 395–413.



Student data privacy as a research focus and practice is relatively under-researched in the context of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Central to researching student data privacy in the context of online service providers are the various user agreements that participants must accept or opt into before they can use a MOOC platform. Such documents form the basis for any recourse individuals might have if they have concerns about data privacy. Of specific interest in this research is the emotive use of language used in these documents. Research in other genres suggest that emotive language can be intentionally used to facilitate buy-in or to soften the implications of the agreement between user and provider. This article shares our findings of a sentiment analysis of the terms and conditions and privacy statements of three major MOOC providers.

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