IT Futures

University of Edinburgh

David Hope and Avril Dewar

When do you know too much? The ethics of detailed analysis


Student performance can be predicted ahead of time from a range of sources – including VLE analytics, attendance records, and routine engagement with administration and staff. We have used this data to create an “Early Warning System” that predicts student risk ahead of time. Detailed information can give strong insights into student behaviour. At what point does the picture become so detailed as to be invasive or upsetting to students? Can a thorough knowledge of student analytics interfere with the staff-student relationship? In this talk we will consider some case studies and how effective safeguards can mitigate these risks.




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