Learning Analytics in a Shared-Network Educational Environment: Ethical Issues and Countermeasures (output prize)

Olugbenga Adejo, Thomas Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recent trend in the development of education across the globe is the use of the new Learning Analytics (LA) tools and technologies in teaching and learning. The potential benefits of LA notwithstanding, potential ethical issues have to be considered and addressed in order to avoid any legal issues that might arise from its use. As a result of this, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) involved in the development of LA tools need to pay particular attention to every ethical challenges/constraint that might arise.

This paper aims to identify and discuss several ethical issues connected with the practice and use of LA tools and technologies in analysing and predicting the performance of students in a shared network environment of HEIs. The study discusses the four ethical issues of Information and Communication Technology namely Privacy, Accuracy, Property and Accessibility (PAPA’s Model) as well as other approaches to explain these future concerns. The paper also presents the empirical evidence of the views of students on the analytical use and storage of their data.

The results indicate that even though students have high trust in the privacy and security of their data being used by their institutions, more than half of the students have ethical concerns with the accessibility and storage of their data beyond a certain period. In the light of this, generalised strategies on ethical issues of the use of learners’ data in an HEI shared networked environment are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


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