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Ithaka releases report on “Student Data in the Digital Era”


From the abstract:

 Individual researchers, higher education institutions, and other organizations working in these areas are often hindered by challenges related to technical and analytical capacity and institutional culture, as well as sorting out what it means to collect and use data responsibly. Many have deferred or abandoned efforts in the face of these obstacles. Addressing these challenges, and achieving the potential benefits of the new student data will require a set of guiding principles, coordination within and across institutions, and enhanced technological infrastructure.[1]

To provide an overview of this landscape, we reviewed initiatives in three broad categories:

  • Research: Student data are used to conduct empirical studies designed primarily to advance knowledge in the field, though with the potential to influence institutional practices and interventions.
  • Application: Student data are used to inform changes in institutional practices, programs, or policies, in order to improve student learning and support.
  • Representation: Student data are used to report on the educational experiences and achievements of students to internal and external audiences, in ways that are more extensive and nuanced than the traditional transcript.

The Law, Digitally Speaking


Rapid technological change can leave colleges grasping for the right legal policies. Here are words of caution, and of reassurance.

As new technologies emerge on campuses, how can colleges avoid legal land mines? What are the areas of greatest risk, and how should higher-education leaders deal with them?