#EP4LA #LAK15 applying learning analytics to a primary school classroom: benefits and barriers


Rodriguez-Triana, Martinez-Mones and Villagra-Sobrino

Based on previous studies into LA in higher education. Little awareness previously paid to data privacy and ethical issues (“because the data was already there and available”). A recognition that automatic data (VLE) is not enough. Always need a personal layer added by the teacher to contextualise and make data set complete.

In following this up, developed a pilot study in a primary school context using blogging tool. Teacher able to identify who is accessing and when (when the pupils are at home). Pupils not aware and cannot see this overview of their access. Parents were offered an explanation of the project and supplied ‘informed consent’.

Main issues were related to data ownership stake and control. Interesting distinction that younger students automatically need greater protection than older students. Permissions granted from parents/headteacher (“more hassle”). In fact, parents created dummy accounts on behalf of their children as pupils were minors and denied permissions to use the software tools.  Data shared with teacher but not with families as it was felt that parents would not understand. Question then around whether parents were able to provide truly informed consent. Interesting.

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About sharonslade

Dr Sharon Slade is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Law at the Open University in the UK working to support both tutors and students on Open University distance learning modules and programmes. Her research interests encompass ethical issues in learning analytics and online learning and tuition. Project work includes the development of a student support framework to improve retention and progression and the development of a university wide tool for tracking students and triggering relevant and targeted interventions. She led the development of new policy around the ethical use of learning analytics within the Open University, UK.
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