Ethics, Big Data, and Analytics: A Model for Application

CURATED BY THE GIBS Information Centre on  to  Business education @GIBS

EDUCAUSE Review Online

KISs @GIBS‘s insight:

The use of big data and analytics to predict student success  –

Big data and analytics, which “marries large data sets, statistical techniques and predictive modeling [to mine] institutional data to produce ‘actionable intelligence,'”1 present big questions to those of us in higher education. Systems now exist that link students’ demographic data with data on past and current educational performance, engagement with online course materials, or in-class participation levels to predict, with startling accuracy, specific outcomes such as final grades within a course. When applied to collegiate administration, this raises several ethical questions, including:

What, specifically, is the role of big data in education?How can big data enrich the student experience?Is it possible to use big data to increase retention?To what extent can big data contribute to successful outcomes?

More specifically, we must ask what it means to “know” with predictive analytics. Furthermore, once an administration “knows” something about student performance, what ethical obligations follow?

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