Students under surveillance

Helen Warrell, Financial Times, Jan 19, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Post introducing readers to services like SkyFactor and VitalSource (formerly CourseSmart), data-driven learning analytics and retention systems. The point underlined in the article is that such systems represent an almost casual attitude of invasive surveillance on the part of British and American institutions. Instructors have access to a dashboard showing "class attendances, assessment grades, participation in sports practices, and visits to the campus financial aid officer."  Such surveillance is not benign, writes the author; it is a source of disruption and stress for students. The justification, though, is the investment students make in education. “Do you just let them fall through the cracks,” he says, “or can you embrace technology that might help them deal with the stresses of college and progress?” Via internetactu (en français).

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