Reconsidering Data in Learning Analytics: Opportunities for Critical Research Using a Documentation Studies Framework
Learning, Media and Technology. doi: 10.1080/17439884.2018.1556216
20 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2018
Date Written: 2018
In this article, we argue that the contributions of documentation studies can provide a useful framework for analyzing the datafication of students due to emerging learning analytics practices. Specifically, the concepts of individuals being “made into” data and how that data is “considered as” can help to frame vital questions concerning the use of student data in learning analytics. More specifically, approaches informed by documentation studies will enable researchers to address the sociotechnical processes underlying how students are constructed into data, and ways data about students are considered and understood. We draw on these concepts to identify and describe three areas for future research in LA. With the description of each area, we provide a brief analysis of current practices in American higher education, highlighting how documentation studies enables deeper analytical digging.
Keywords: Learning analytics, educational data mining, documentation studies, critical data studies
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