Evidence of the month: February 2015
The field of learning analytics is working to define frameworks that can structure the legal and ethical issues that scholars and practitioners have to take into account when planning and applying analytics to their learning contexts. However, the main focus of this work to date has been higher education. This paper reflects on the need to extend these ethical frameworks to cover other approaches to learning analytics; specifically, small-scale classroom-oriented approaches designed to support teachers in their practice.
This reflection is based on three studies in which a teacher-led learning analytics approach was employed in higher education and primary school contexts. The paper describes the ethical issues that emerged in these learning scenarios, and discusses them with regard to: the overall learning analytics approach, the particular solution to learning analytics adopted, and the educational contexts where the analytics were applied.
This work is presented as a first step towards the wider objective of providing a more comprehensive and adapted ethical framework to learning analytics that is able to address the needs of different learning analytics approaches and educational contexts.