Block 2 readings

The essential and additional readings for block one of the course are available below.  You will need to be logged in through EASE to access most of these sources. You can also link to the readings through the course Resources List here.

You will need to read the four essential readings over this 3-week block, alongside undertaking your weekly data visualisation task. The additional literature will provide some useful further reading to support your exploration of the ‘teaching’ theme in this block.


Williamson, B. Bayne, S. Shay, S. 2020. The datafication of teaching in Higher Education: critical issues and perspectives. Teaching in Higher Education. 25(4), pp. 351-365.

This is an editorial for a special issue of the journal Teaching in Higher Education on the topic of the ‘datafication’ of teaching, and serves as a useful introduction to the readings in this block. Some of the context in this chapter, around the origins of measurement and the ‘datafication’ of the sector will be familiar from the previous block, however it is the sections on teaching that will be most instructive. These include the themes of: power and marketisation; the impact of data on pedagogy; ‘literacies’; inequalities; and surveillance.

Brown, M. 2020. Seeing students at scale: how faculty in large lecture courses act upon learning analytics dashboard data. Teaching in Higher Education. 25(4), pp. 384-400

From the same special issue introduced above, this paper examines the effects of data-driven technologies on teacher’s understanding of the resources they are using, and how to respond as a result. Comparing a number of case studies, the paper offers interesting insights about the extent to which the use of data hinders pedagogical practices, in particular through concealing underlying data processes.

Raffaghelli, J.E. & Stewart, B. 2020. Centering complexity in ‘educators’ data literacy’ to support future practices in faculty development: a systematic review of the literature, Teaching in Higher Education, 25:4, 435-455, DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2019.1696301

Also from the above special issue, this paper focuses on ‘data literacy’, and the extent to which educators are able to use and understand many of the data-driven systems that permeate educational institutions. Reviewing a large body of literature, the paper identifies a lack of attention to the literacy of higher education teachers, as well as a focus on technical abilities rather than critical reflection.

van Dijck, J., Poell, T., & de Waal, M. 2018. Chapter 6: Education, In The Platform Society, Oxford University Press

This chapter centres on the ‘platform’ and ‘platformisation’ as a key way of understanding the changes being imposed on education through the increasing use of data. Key insights here include the acknowledgement of corporate corporate ownership and business models, which underpin the ways platforms operate, as opposed to explicitly educational or pedagogical goals, which tend to be associated with the ‘public good’.


Harrison, M.J., Davies, C., Bell, H., Goodley, C., Fox, S & Downing, B. 2020. (Un)teaching the ‘datafied student subject’: perspectives from an education-based masters in an English university, Teaching in Higher Education, 25:4, 401-417, DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2019.1698541

Sander, I. 2020. What is critical big data literacy and how can it be implemented? Internet Policy Review. 9(2) DOI: 10.14763/2020.2.1479