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by Stephen Downes
Oct 20, 2014

On the Question of Validity in Learning Analytics
Adam Cooper, CETIS Blogs, 2014/10/20


So your learning analytics have produced a result. How do you know you should rely on it? As Adam Cooper writes in this post, there are two dimensions of assessment of analytics results: reliability (or, how closely focused the results are on a single value), and validity (or, how closely the results are to the correct result). Note, he writes, that mere predictive accuracy is not enough to establish validity. How does the prediction compare to a random result? How many false positives and false negatives were there? The prediction could be accurate, in other words, but lucky. But more, we need to ask whether the tool could ever be used in practise and whether the results generalize or are reproducible.

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Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users
Paul Lewis, Dominic Rushe, The Guardian, 2014/10/20


The Guardian is standing by its story that Whisper, the application that guarantees complete anonymity to users, is tracking and sharing their locations. For its part, although Whisper dismisses the Guardian story as a pack of lies, it has also altered its terms of service to allow such tracking. And according to American Journalism Review, "Whisper in particular is aggressively pushing its content to reporters as potential sources for news stories." It also had a partnership with Buzzfeed and the cable news channel Fusion. The thing is, you can't be an anonymous app and a news source at the same time. Some links via American Press Institute 'Need to Know'.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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