May 24, 2022

Workshop Report: “Big Data in Education: Balancing Research Needs and Student Privacy”

The Big Data in Education: Balancing Research Needs and Student Privacy” workshop organized by the National Academy of Education took place on August 9-10, 2016 in Washington, DC

From the National Academy of Education:

2017-05-18_11-56-15The report addresses a fundamental tension of how to reap the educational benefits that access to comprehensive “big” data provides while ensuring student privacy. In order to understand and improve teaching and learning, education data must be available to researchers, and the privacy of children and families must be protected.

This report, based upon a workshop, reviewed the benefits of educational research using modern data systems, the risks to the privacy of families and children, and technical and political solutions for maximizing benefits and minimizing risks. In particular, the report recommends that the research community (1) adopt common terminology, (2) communicate the importance of educational research more effectively, (3) build strong partnerships and models to ensure the sharing of data, and (4) better educate researchers and universities on privacy issues.

In addition to this summary report, the information below includes other proceedings of the workshop, including agenda, a commissioned background paper, panel summaries, and panel videos.

Direct to Summary Report (15 pages; PDF

Direct to Background Paper: “Advancing Educational Research and Student Privacy in the “Big Data” Era”

Direct to Compilation Of References And Resource Links (7 pages; PDF)

Direct to Workshop Session Videos and Additional Materials

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.