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Measuring Student Workloads

Discussions of student wellbeing tend to focus on providing individual support for those who are struggling to cope. That’s great, but likely to demand a lot of skilled staff time. A few years ago Bangor University investigated whether the university might be contributing to stress through excessive or spiky workloads. Addressing causes of stress would, […]

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Publications

Wellbeing Analytics Code – background paper

I’m delighted to announce that the Journal of Learning Analytics has published our paper on why and how we developed the Jisc Wellbeing Analytics Code of Practice. If you want to know the context that prompted our interest in data-supported wellbeing, or how we mined the GDPR for all possible safeguards, then have a look […]

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Articles

Entangled personal data: what if it’s not only mine?

Feedback and performance review are routine parts of many employment relationships. So it’s surprising to find that they take us into obscure corners of data protection law. Regulators have been clear for more than a decade that an opinion about someone is personal data, but there has been much less exploration of the fact that […]

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Publications

Thinking with GDPR: Design by Data Protection

Last year, I was invited to give a talk “on GDPR” to NISO, an organisation that develops standards for managing digital information. While most of my thinking and writing has looked at applying data protection law to existing systems, this seemed like a good opportunity to think about how you might use it at an […]

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Articles

Onward from Learning Analytics

This morning’s “multiplier event” from the Onward from Learning Analytics (OfLA) project highlighted the importance of human and institutional aspects in a productive LA deployment. They begin at the end – what is the desired outcome of your LA deployment? The answer probably isn’t “a business intelligence report”, and almost certainly not “a dashboard”. Starting […]

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Peacasts

Think “Big benefits”, not “Big Data”

“Big Data” has – often rightly – had a bad press. Is there a better way to think about it? Starting from potential benefits and discussing how they might be achieved should help us choose the right outcomes to aim for when using data, make it more likely that those aims will be delivered, and […]

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Navigating the Temptations of Data

It seems easy to come up with new ways we might re-use data we already have. But harder to work out, in advance, whether an idea is likely to be perceived as unethical, intrusive, or just creepy. In a recent paper – “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (of Data)” – I explored […]

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Presentations

Thinking with GDPR

[Based on a presentation for the NISO Plus conference, February 22-25, 2021] One thing it seems everyone knows about Europe is that we have a strong privacy law: the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. In this talk I’d like to get you viewing that not just as a law, but as a really useful […]

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Peacasts

Analytics: Using data to improve outcomes

Since it has provided the foundation for most of the work I’ve been doing on data for the past couple of years, I’ve recorded a video explaining our standard model for “analytics”, in both practical and legal terms If you’d like to know more, a couple of papers set out the theory Downstream Consent: a […]

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Articles

“Digital Ethics”, or Ethical Digitalisation?

Perhaps surprisingly – given that its title was “Digital ethics” – last week’s SOCITM panel session spent a lot of  time exploring things that aren’t “digital”. Although the discussion focussed on local government, a lot of the ideas seemed relevant to education, too. Don’t be solutionist: technology might not be the right option. When identifying […]