January 17, 2022

New Report: “Code Of Practice For Learning Analytics: a Literature Review of The Ethical And Legal Issues”

Here’s a recently published report by Niall Sclater from JISC (UK organization) that might be of interest. The sources shared in the literature review comes from publishers/publications based in the UK, U.S., and elsewhere.

From an  Introductory Blog Post by Niall Scalter:


Do institutions need to obtain consent from students before collecting and using data about their online learning activities?

Should learners be allowed to opt out of having data collected about them?

Could showing students predictions about their likelihood of academic success have a negative effect on their motivation and make them more likely to drop out?

These are some of the questions addressed in a new report which is released today by Jisc: Code of practice for learning analytics: A literature review of the ethical and legal issues.

The aim of the review is to provide the groundwork for a code of practice which is intended to help institutions solve the complex issues raised by learning analytics.


It was a very interesting task gathering together publications from many different authors and organisations.  I drew material from 86 publications, more than a third of them published within the last year from sources including:

  • The literature around learning analytics which makes explicit reference to legal and ethical issues
  • Articles and blogs around the ethical and legal issues of big data
  • A few papers which concentrate specifically on privacy
  • Relevant legislation, in particular the European Data Protection Directive 1995 and the UK Data Protection Act 1998
  • Related codes of practice from education and industry

Read the Complete Blog Post

Direct to Full Text Report (64 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.