Connecting Libraries and Learning Analytics for Student Success

beSpacific 2021-04-19

The Corkboard: “A recent library learning analytics project highlights the wide—if not widening—gap between advocates of the technology and those concerned that the value of student privacy isn’t being fully attended to. The project argues that privacy “hinges” on confidentiality. In this brief post, I will succinctly argue why confidentiality is not privacy, but privacy may include confidentiality. Connecting Libraries and Learning Analytics for Student Success, or CLLASS, is an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded project led by Megan Oakleaf of Syracuse University supported by corporate (OCLC), organizational (IMS Global Learning Consortium, Unizin), and other higher education partners. In the executive summary, the CLLASS report argues that “in alignment with their long-standing commitment to use assessment to understand and facilitate student learning, librarians should explore opportunities to engage with emergent institutional learning analytics tools, systems, and strategies” (p. 6). Among other outcomes, CLLASS developed “a library profile for Caliper, an interoperability standard used to label learning data and provide the means for capturing, presenting, and conveying learning activities to centralized data stores in order to facilitate the analysis, visualization, and increased awareness of student learning behaviors” (p. 7). Other activities and outcomes are described in the report, but I want to use this time to turn the team’s treatment of privacy before offering up a critique…”