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Block 2: Week 7

The focus of this week was to record data on different platforms or sites I visited during the week, the purpose of my visit, and the mode of engagement. The data was recorded over a six days period to be able to capture as many entries as were possible.

In order to enhance the readability of the visualization, I was selective of the platforms from which I recorded data, and I also grouped the purpose for visiting the platform in a way that I can be able to capture as many as possible and finally I recorded the mode of engagement as this can inform teaching plans for especially teachers using digital technologies and tools during teaching.

The visualization above shows a summary of what my data recording looks like for the week. Despite the growing debate on the willingness of teachers to adopt digital technologies and tools for teaching, several institutions still largely require faculty to make use of data dashboards provided by these tools to inform their teaching (Brown.2020). 

From the visualization, I realized that my learning engagement was not just fixated on the course learning site (Module) and blogs but was transferred to unconventional learning platforms to further enhance my learning. From this observation, I deduced that one major challenge of data dashboards to teachers is that they are unable to capture every element of student learning thereby giving the teacher an incomplete representation of the entire student learning experience (Williamson et al. 2020). An important element of this visualization in the hand of a teacher in the virtual space is the mode of engagement. Course materials provided in the learning management system can take multiple forms or expressed in different modalities. Therefore record the mode of engagement will support the teacher and designer in choosing the most suitable materials to enhance student learning.

Additionally, most data-driven technologies are programmed to only report certain elements of the learning and this also affects what ends up in the hand of the teacher. Hence, the burden falls on the teacher to determine how much more data is needed to make an informed decision about a student otherwise the lack of data literacy might affect the conclusions about a student immensely. (Williamson et.al 2020). 

References 

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.

Tsai, Y., Perrotta, C. and Gašević, D., 2019. Empowering learners with personalised learning approaches? Agency, equity and transparency in the context of learning analytics. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 45(4), pp.554-567

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

2 replies on “Block 2: Week 7”

Very effective visualization. It captures well how we move across and between platforms and services during learning activities, many of which are not specifically “educational” at all. This is something that the big social media companies have noticed too: TikTok now features educational content, YouTube hosts many educational channels, and so on. TikTok has explicitly claimed it hopes getting into the education market will entice new advertisers to the platform. It’s not only an “educational” development for the platform, but a potentially lucrative way of generating advertising revenue, which will enable advertisers to target learners based on their data. So, we can think of “teaching with data” as about actual teachers in colleges or schools using data to inform their practices, or we can think of the way social media platforms are now gathering data related to educational uses of their platforms, and exploiting it for commercial advantage. What kind of “data literacy” do you think teachers need in this changing context? Do they just need training in how to teach with data better, or a set of more critical understandings of the range of ways data are collected about education, and its consequences?

Thanks so much Ben for your comment. I think you said it very well. It is no longer enough that we only focus on the instrumental forms of data literacy for teachers but step into a different data literacy module. The notion that big media companies are leveraging student data and using it for profit gain should inform the urgency of other forms of data literacy for teachers and education institutions. A more critical understanding of data awareness and data management is needed to inform how much student information is being handed out to these big companies knowingly or unknowingly and the consequences it can have in the new future.

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