Data Doubles Team Represented by Collaborator Abigail Goben at ALA in DC

On behalf of the Data Doubles team, collaborator Abigail Goben presented “In Their Own Words, Student Perspectives on Privacy and Library Participation in Learning Analytics Initiatives” as a Library and Information Technology Association session at the American Library Association Conference in Washington DC.

The presentation introduced the Data Doubles research project and identified the extent to which librarians are already participating in learning analytics, drawing upon the ARL SPEC kit also done by the team. Goben then presented the data gathered from the first year of the grant, drawing upon the themes extracted from the interviews. This included low preliminary student awareness of information access by institutions and by academic libraries specifically; students’ expressed desire for information restriction-particularly to third parties; and raised concerns about what libraries are doing with captured data. The presentation concluded calling on participants to actively engage with students when capturing data and ensuring that the trust placed with the libraries is not misused and that informed consent is part of the learning process.

Following the presentation was a robust question and answer period. Several audience members asked about demographic capture for the interviews as well as what is planned for the survey that will be a part of Phase Two of the grant. While the Data Doubles project does have the opportunity to capture demographic data, some specific populations such as student athlete status are not being captured and would serve as an interesting population for further investigation. Questions also arose about the focus of the project on large research institutions that are primarily in the Midwest and whether there would be differences depending on the geographic location or at smaller institutions. It is our hope that with the release of the interview questions and the survey materials as part of the forthcoming Toolkit that more institutions will be able to replicate the protocols and determine any variances at different types of colleges and universities. Attendees were also invited by audience members to attend the LITA Privacy Interest Group session on Privacy by Design.

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