The ethical issues of learning analytics in their historical context

Griffiths, David ORCID: 0000-0002-6863-2456 (2020) The ethical issues of learning analytics in their historical context. In: Burgos, Daniel, (ed.) Radical Solutions and Open Science, An Open Approach to Boost Higher Education. Lecture Notes in Educational Technology . Springer Open, Singapore, pp. 39-55. ISBN 978-981-15-4276-3

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The ethical context of Learning Analytics is framed by two related processes. Firstly, the amount of personal data available to organisations has been transformed by the computerisation and the subsequent development of the Internet. Secondly, the methods and ethical assumptions of Operations Research have been extended into new areas. Learning Analytics can be conceptualised as the extension of Operations Research methods to educational institutions, in a process facilitated by technological and social changes in the early twenty-first century. It is argued that the ethical discourse has viewed Learning Analytics as a discrete field, and focused on its internal processes, at the expense of its connections with the wider social context. As a result, contradictions arise in the practice of research ethics, and a number of urgent issues are not given due consideration. These include the partial erosion of the consensus around the Nuremberg code; the use of ethical waivers for quality improvement; the coercive extraction of data; the use of analytics as an enabling technology for management; and the educational implications of the relationship between surveillance and trust.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Open Science, Open Educational Practices,
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Education
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 13:21
Last Modified: 26 May 2020 13:21
Identification Number: 10.1007/978-981-15-4276-3_3

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