Pre-Conference Workshop HIG101
Ethics, Analytics and the Duty of Care
National Research Council Canada
Stephen Downes works with the Digital Technologies Research Centre at the National Research Council of Canada specializing in new instructional media and personal learning technology. His degrees are in Philosophy, specializing in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. He has taught for the University of Alberta, Athabasca University, Grand Prairie Regional College and Assiniboine Community College. His background includes expertise in journalism and media, both as a prominent blogger and as founder of the Moncton Free Press online news cooperative. He is one of the originators of the first Massive Open Online Course, has published frequently about online and networked learning, has authored learning management and content syndication software, and is the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily. Downes is a member of NRC's Research Ethics Board. He is a popular keynote speaker and has spoken in three dozen countries on six continents.
This session reports on a comprehensive study of ethical issues in learning analytics and related technologies. We begin by looking at the applications of artificial intelligence and analytics in learning technology, describing in a structured way what decisions we actually make when we apply artificial intelligence, analytics, and neural networks to teaching and learning. We also survey the ethical issues that have arisen in the field, for example, bias in algorithms, justice and fairness, diversity and equity, bad actors and data manipulation, and a range of other concerns. Then we apply the ethical dimension to all of this, asking how we determine what is ethical and what is not. We look at ethical codes, ethical theories and principles, and finally, ethics as a duty of care.
- Enumerate a broad range of benefits and risks arising from the use of analytic technologies in learning and development.
- Describe how these issues arise at various points in the learning analytics workflow.
- Evaluate how these issues, and potential solutions to them, are proposed by various ethical theories, principles and codes.
- Describe an ethical approach to learning analytics based in practitioner expertise and sentiment of care.