Questions of Data Ownership on Campus

EDUCAUSE Review Online just published a piece I co-authored with John Thomson and Kim Arnold.  Our central thesis boils down to a not-so-simple question: Who owns student data?  Our goal was not to answer the question, but to start the conversation in earnest, especially given the data-rich environment of most higher education institutions and an ever-increasing interest in learning analytics technology.

You can access the article at EDUCAUSE.

The abstract is quoted below:

Valid arguments exist for students to control data about themselves, and similarly plausible arguments suggest that the institution can claim ownership. This article explores both perspectives. To avoid win-lose solutions, institutions acting as “information fiduciaries” can reap the benefits of analyzing student data while respecting student rights.

It was a pleasure to work with John and Kim, two individuals I have great esteem for.  John is a master of learning management systems and has an acute understanding of the intersection of information policy and educational technology infrastructures; he holds a Ph.D. from UW-Madison.  He now works for Stanford University’s Business School, where he is their learning platform administrator.  They’re lucky to have him.  Kim is an international expert in learning analytics.  She is often invited to speak on learning analytics, and she represents UW-Madison, where she works in the Division of Information Technology, with grace and style.

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