Week 5: Privacy and ethics: principles for governing LA use and implementation

Date: February 20 - February 26

The adoption of analytics in many sectors of society - business, government, medicine, and education - is driven by interest in improving efficiency and transparency in those sectors. In a world where data is an asset (strategically and economically), manipulation of that data also becomes an asset. For example, an algorithm that allows a university to predict potential drop outs, thereby activating an intervention system, could potentially generate significant tuition revenue by increasing retention. That algorithm could also be sold/shared to other universities, generating IP revenue. We could be at the early stages of an IP boom in education where an ecosystem of analytics tools, methods/procedures, and algorithms are developed for revenue-generation by universities and corporations.

Critical questions arise. Who owns learner-produced data? What are the conditions under which a university jumps data silos (i.e. blending analytics from student information systems with social media analytics?). Who has access to the analytics that a school or university conducts on learners? Or, for that matter, who owns the analytics (if it's my data as a student, but your proprietary algorithm, who owns the outcome?). This is a complex topic that will take years and decades for the education, policy/governance, and legal systems to work through. At best, this week we will raise a few issues related to ethics and consider principles that need to be preserved or honoured in developing and using analytics in education.


Activities this week:

Our main activity this week is to spend some time discussing/commenting on the ethics and conditions around data use in learning (and if we have enough activity, actually writing a mini-manifesto).
We've set up a Google doc - anyone can edit without sign in: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bBRCyldBoS0ywDhNIgB9f4k7-hLUzviu3HUX7JBUDzQ/edit . Please contribute, comment, and share ideas. Don't worry about formatting or idea flow. Consider it a collaboration space to play with ideas around how to implement/govern analytics in education.


Live session this week will include a discussion with Erik Duval on Feb 21 at 1 pm Mountain time (http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20120221T13&p1=80
to different timezones). The session will be held here in Blackboard Collaborate: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2008104&password=M.13942243B0B58B854EE5D590716D09

We are also attempting to arrange a presentation with Gardner Campbell on ethical use of LA. Details will be posted once they have been confirmed.