A panel discusses what data is collected by schools, and who owns it.
One of the trends that has been evident for some time, and continues to develop in education, is the collection of “big data” and the use of learning analytics: the collection, analysis, and reporting of large datasets relating to learners and their contexts. As more and more learning activities take place digitally, and as more and more data is gathered about learner progress, we have the opportunity to be more evidence-based in how we support learners.
One of the implications is that there are issues around who uses the data: are learners or their families empowered to access and reflect on the progress that they are making?
During Privacy Week 2015, CORE eLearning and Future Focused Facilitator Andrew Cowie hosted a panel discussion covering some of the issues associated with data ownership. The discussion included the right to privacy, the right to access that data, and the long-term implications for schools, students and their families.
Andrew’s two guests were Katrine Evans, Assistant Privacy Commissioner, and Sean Lyons, Chief Technology Officer at Netsafe.
The panel acknowledged that, as well as the need for schools to collect data on behalf of the Ministry of Education, student data increasingly includes records of progress and achievement, work samples, individual student’s digital portfolios, school video records, and images. Rather than any one person owning this information, the school, families, and students all have rights to the data collected.
In some circumstances, schools use learning analytics to interpret the data sets to help predict students’ future behaviour and learning potential. Katrine points out the likelihood of students using their increasing awareness of the range of data being collected about them, to question these predictions that schools may be making about them.
The panel also discusses online behaviour, where data is being collected, and where students are allowing information relating to online behaviour to be obtained by agreeing to terms of service that they are unlikely to have read.
This video is part 1 of the two-part discussion on student data and privacy. You can also find out more about the learning analytics trend, watch more videos on big data and learning analytics, or check out the links in CORE’s Bundlr collection.
- What data are you gathering in your centres and schools?
- How is it being stored and managed?
- Are families and students able to access this data?
- How are you supporting students to understand their rights in terms of privacy, understand what data is being collected about them online, and how they can access this information?