Research

My research focuses on information ethics and policy issues associated with educational data mining and learning analytics practices in higher education.

Qualitative methods often influence my research designs. I primarily use interviews and documents as data. Grounded Theory techniques and content analysis inform my analytical strategies. When my work is more critical and normative, I use information privacy theory (e.g., work by Richards, Nissenbaum, and others) and critical data studies to frame my approach.

The following questions guide most of my research:

  • How do learning analytics intersect with and affect student privacy?
  • How are micro-contextual professional communities (e.g., advisors) impacted by learning analytics initiatives?
  • What are the structural and governance effects emerging from learning analytics and other “big data” style initiatives?

The publications below reflect a select assortment of work related to recent projects. For a history of my research, see my CV.


Select Publications

Rubel, A., & Jones, K. M. L. (2020). The temptation of data-enabled surveillance: Are universities the next cautionary tale? Communications of the ACM, 63(4), 22–24. https://doi.org/10.1145/3382741
Jones, K. M. L., Asher, A., Goben, A., Perry, M. R., Salo, D., Briney, K. A., & Robertshaw, M. B. (2020). “We’re being tracked at all times”: Student perspectives of their privacy in relation to learning analytics in higher education. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 71(9), 1044–1059. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24358
Jones, K. M. L., Briney, K. A., Goben, A., Salo, D., Asher, A., & Perry, M. R. (2020). A comprehensive primer to library learning analytics practices, initiatives, and privacy issues. College & Research Libraries, 81(3), 570–591. https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.81.3.570
Jones, K. M. L., & McCoy, C. (2019). Reconsidering data in learning analytics: Opportunities for critical research using a documentation studies framework. Learning, Media and Technology, 44(1), 52–63. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2018.1556216
Jones, K. M. L., & VanScoy, A. (2019). The syllabus as a student privacy document in an age of learning analytics. Journal of Documentation, 75(6), 1333–1355. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-12-2018-0202
Jones, K. M. L. (2019). Learning analytics and higher education: A proposed model for establishing informed consent mechanisms to promote student privacy and autonomy. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16(1), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-019-0155-0
Jones, K. M. L. (2019). Advising the whole student: eAdvising analytics and the contextual suppression of advisor values. Education and Information Technologies, 24(1), 437–458. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-018-9781-8
Jones, K. M. L. (Ed.). (2019). Learning analytics and the academic library: Critical questions about real and possible futures. Library Trends, 68(1), 1–4. https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/41142
Jones, K. M. L., Perry, M. R., Goben, A., Asher, A., Briney, K. A., Robertshaw, M. B., & Salo, D. (2019). In their own words: Student perspectives on privacy and library participation in learning analytics initiatives. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association of College and Research Libraries, 262–274. http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/2019/InTheirOwnWords.pdf
Jones, K. M. L. (2019). “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”: Practitioner perceptions of learning analytics ethics. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 19(3), 407–428. https://doi.org/10.1353/pla.2019.0025
Jones, K. M. L., & LeClere, E. (2018). Contextual expectations and emerging informational harms: A primer on academic library participation in learning analytics initiatives. In P. Fernandez & K. Tilton (Eds.), Applying library values to emerging technology: Decision-making in the age of open access, maker spaces, and the ever-changing library (pp. 357–371). Association of College and Research Libraries. https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2980784
Jones, K. M. L., & Salo, D. (2018). Learning analytics and the academic library: Professional ethics commitments at a crossroads. College & Research Libraries, 79(3), 304–323. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.79.3.304
Rubel, A., & Jones, K. M. L. (2016). Student privacy in learning analytics: An information ethics perspective. The Information Society, 32(2), 143–159. https://doi.org/10.1080/01972243.2016.1130502
Jones, K. M. L., Rubel, A., & LeClere, E. (forthcoming). A matter of trust: Higher education institutions as information fiduciaries in an age of educational data mining and learning analytics. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24327
Jones, K. M. L., & Hinchliffe, L. J. (forthcoming). New methods, new needs: Preparing academic library practitioners to address ethical issues associated with learning analytics. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE). https://osf.io/qnw2p/
Jones, K. M. L., McCoy, C., Frischmann, B. M., Sanfilippo, M., & Strandburg, K. J. (forthcoming). Institutional data labor: Socio-technical integration and privacy in practice in institutional research. In Privacy as Knowledge Commons Governance. Cambridge University Press.