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“Privacy and Learning Analytics: A Data Ethics Workshop for Library Professionals” / ASERL-2

May 15, 2023
"Privacy" label on file folder

Higher education institutions are facing significant accountability pressures to prove that their efforts produce valuable results and their resource expenditures are justifiable. In addition to traditional business intelligence strategies, colleges and universities have adopted learning analytics methods to investigate issues of student learning and success. Learning analytics are the “measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of [student and other data] for the purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs” (Siemens, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2330601.2330605). Learning analytics have helped institutions optimize advising, predict student retention, and increase student engagement. Feeling the same pressures as their institutions, as well as the desire to contribute to student learning and success, academic libraries have begun to participate in learning analytics practices.

Nonetheless, regardless of the benefits that could accrue, learning analytics unquestionably presents challenges to student privacy, thus straining the professional ethics commitments that librarians make to uphold user confidentiality, respect privacy in information seeking and use, and support intellectual freedom. Librarians may feel a desire to refrain from engaging with campus learning analytics projects, meaning that librarian values around privacy and confidentiality are missing from campus conversations. This workshop seeks to overcome this hesitancy by providing training about privacy and other related ethical issues associated with learning analytics through structured, reflective activities that enable participants to plan for proactive engagement with campus learning analytics work and contribute to the development of privacy protections in learning analytics.

After the workshop,  participants will be able to:

  • Analyze learning analytics and the ways in which they may create privacy harms.
  • Adjust a learning analytics practice to strategically minimize privacy harms and maximize specific benefits.
  • Advocate for privacy protections in learning analytics policies and practices.

This workshop is an offering of Prioritizing Privacy, a multi-faceted continuing education program to train academic library practitioners to comprehensively address privacy and other related ethical implications of learning analytics projects. Prioritizing Privacy is supported by an IMLS National Leadership Grant. Additional information is available on the project website (https://prioritizingprivacy.org/).

ASERL will provide complimentary beverages & snacks during the break times.  Lunch is NOT provided.

TO REGISTER for this workshop on May 15 in New Orleans, please go to https://ezregister.com/events/38012/



Tulane University / Stibbs Room – Lavin-Bernick Center
29 McAlister Drive
New Orleans, LA 70118
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