Learning Analytics and Its Paternalistic Influences

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APA Citation

Jones, K. M. L. (2017). Learning analytics and its paternalistic influences. In P. Zaphiris & A. Ioannou (Eds.), Learning and collaboration technologies. Technology in education. LCT 2017. Lecture notes in computer science, 10296 (pp. 281–292). Cham, Switzerland: Springer, Cham. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-58515-4_22


Learning analytics is a technology that employs paternalistic nudging techniques and predictive measures. These techniques can limit student autonomy, may run counter to student interests and preferences, and do not always distribute benefits back to students–in fact some harms may actually accrue. The paper presents three cases of paternalism in learning analytics technologies, arguing that paternalism is an especially problematic concern for higher education institutions who espouse liberal education values. Three general recommendations are provided that work to promote student autonomy and choice making as a way to protect against risks to student academic freedom.

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