Call for Ethical & Privacy Issues in the Application of Learning Analytics


1st Call for Ethical & Privacy Issues in the Application of Learning Analytics
Organised by the EU FP7 project LACE and the SURF SIG LA the
Submission Deadline: 15.10.2014,  Workshop will take place in Utrecht 28.10.2014, 11am – 5pm

The massive production, collection and processing of information from various learning platforms and online environments used have led to ethical and privacy concerns regarding individual and societal harms. Previously these types of concerns have impacted on areas as diverse as computer science, legal studies and surveillance studies. Within the SURF SIG LA and the FP7 EU LACE project we wish to better understand the issues and research challenges on ethical and privacy aspects in the emerging field of learning analytics. We therefore ask for short descriptions of the issues you face in your initiatives.

Please input them here:

On the 28 of October we will organize a first Ethics & Privacy session with international experts. Here we will discuss the most pressing cases and seek to provide clear guidelines. Here is an example of a valid question:

Who should have insights into personal performance information?

Context We have a LA application that analyzes the performance of a group of students and reports them back to each individual learner. The learners can see the average group performance vs. the individual performance to raise awareness about the the state of the learner compared to the group.

Question According to recent CSCL research those results should be made publicly available to the overall student group to improve the group performance.  We are wondering what are the ethical and privacy concerns of making the individual performance public to the student group.  We believe we can do this by asking for a letter of consent from our students. But we are unsure about the ethical consequences of this approach. 

Your examples are most welcome. We will keep them confidential and try to prepare an expert driven reply to your question.


About Author

Dr. Hendrik Drachsler is Associate Professor for Personalised Learning Technologies at the Welten Institute of the Open University of the Netherlands. His research interests include Learning Analytics, Personalisation technologies, Recommender Systems, Educational data, mobile devices, and their applications in the fields of Technology-Enhanced Learning and Health 2.0. He is chairing the EATEL SIG dataTEL and the national SIG Learning Analytics of the Dutch umbrella organisation SURF. He is elected member of the Society of Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR). In the past he has been principal investigator and scientific coordinator of various national and EU projects (e.g., FP7,, WP2 lead He has regularly chairing international scientific events and is Associate Editor of IEEE's Transactions on Learning Technologies, and the Journal of Learning Analytics.


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  4. HI
    Is anyone allowed to attend this workshop or is it by invitation only?
    My manager has said I am allowed to attend on behalf of Jisc, but I can’t see how to register for the event.

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