Ethics in Predictive Learning Analytics: An Empirical Case Study on Students Perceptions in a Northern Irish University

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Most universities collect large amounts of students’ data to enhance teaching, understand student behaviour and predict their success. However, such practices raise privacy and ethical issues due to sensitive data harvesting practices. Despite the recognised importance of this topic, few empirical studies address how students perceive the ethical issues related to Predictive Learning Analytics (PLA). To redress this, interview data collected from 42 undergraduate and postgraduate students in a Northern Irish University were thematically analysed. Findings suggest that there are at least three distinct groups of students having varying assumptions about ethics in PLA: they are (1) Naïve and Trusting, (2) Cautious and Compromising, and (3) Enlightened and Demanding, and all of them tend to narrowly focus only on the issue of informed consent. An empirically supported argument for the need for PLA researchers to recognise the within-group variations in student populations, and to educate all types of students in issues related to ethics is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Big Data and Learning Analytics
EditorsAzevedo A, Azevedo J, Uhomoibhi J, Ossiannilsson E
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
PublisherIGI Global
Chapter4
Number of pages22
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781799871040
ISBN (Print)9781799871033
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameAdvancing the Power of Learning Analytics and Big Data in Education
PublisherIGI Global
ISSN (Print)2326-8905

Keywords

  • Predictive Learning Analytics
  • Ethics in Learning Analytics
  • Norther Ireland
  • Students' Perceptions
  • privacy

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