ERIC Number: EJ1222099
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
"Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should": Practitioner Perceptions of Learning Analytics Ethics
Jones, Kyle M. L.
portal: Libraries and the Academy, v19 n3 p407-428 Jul 2019
Learning analytics involve the process of gathering data about students and using the information to intervene in their lives to improve learning and institutional outcomes. Many academic libraries now participate in learning analytics. However, such practices raise privacy and intellectual freedom issues due to sensitive data practices. But, few research studies address how library practitioners perceive the ethical issues. This article does so by analyzing interviews with library practitioners. The findings suggest that library professionals seek ethical "bright lines"--that is, clearly defined standards--where few exist and that ethical guidance is limited. Though library practitioners recognize that data practices should be scoped and justified, their efforts have come under severe scrutiny--and sometimes harassment--from their professional peers. The article highlights why ethical dissonance has emerged in the profession regarding learning analytics and how library practices might better account for the harms and benefits of learning analytics.
Descriptors: Ethics, Learning Analytics, Academic Libraries, Privacy, Data Collection, Intellectual Freedom, Librarians, Librarian Attitudes, Moral Issues, Decision Making, College Students, Resistance (Psychology), Interprofessional Relationship, Users (Information)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana (Indianapolis)