Abstract

abstract:

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.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-7131
Print ISSN
1531-2542
Pages
pp. 407-428
Launched on MUSE
2019-07-10
Open Access
No
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