The recent ALT Annual Survey (http://repository.alt.ac.uk/2358) highlight the increasing importance of data and analytics in learning technology. As the use of data used to support learning and teaching becomes more commonplace in learning technology it raises important questions around privacy and ethics. A welcome development in this area is the Jisc draft Code of Practice for Learning Analytics which aims to provide a focus for institutions to deal with the many legal and ethical hurdles in this area. The Code has been developed as part of Jisc’s ongoing ‘Effective Learning Analytics’ project.
In April ALT Members were asked by Jisc to provide a response to the draft code. The key areas resulting from the private consultation were:
Scope of the Code of Practice: ALT would like to see the Code of Practice for Learning Analytics to reflect a similarly broad understanding of what is meant by Learning Analytics including teaching and assessment, with consideration for more varied role holders;
Ownership of analytics and data: inclusion of statements around ownership and access to data and analytics within the draft are a very welcome. These are currently mostly of the benefit of the institution and should be more balanced between the institution and the student. The relationship between third parties and vendors and the institution should be made more explicit; and
Exemplars of practice: as an emerging field definitions and methods may not have common understanding. As such the Code would benefit with the inclusion of exemplars to illustrate good/bad practice or link to existing resources with illustrate these. Examples may also be drawn from non-Jisc resources such as outputs from the LACE Project and the Open University’s Principles for the Ethical use of Student Data.
The full response to the Code of Practice for Learning Analytics is available at http://repository.alt.ac.uk/2361