Friday, January 09, 2015

More-than-human analytics #Futurelearn #Moocs

Jeremy Knox (shown in a shadowy way in the picture) looked at More-than-human analytics (meaning not just looking at analytics related to students) in the FLA meeting in Edinburgh. I'm liveblogging so not capturing everything. His contention was that both the quantitative and qualitative research has been dominated by investigating the student experience and activity: profiling, grouping, mapping etc. At this point he introduced an interesting discussion about lurkers (which since I paused to listen I haven't time to reproduce here ;-)
He picked out one problem with mapping data, in that these maps (of where students come from) are based on IP data and of course don't therefore accurately reproduce where students are based. This brought in the non-human factor of national data networks (accuracy, equality, reliability etc.). Therefore "practices of categorising and locating students are already more than human". They are produced both by the students and by the technologies they use, as well as the methods of research which are used. He felt that this meant would could encourage "bigger thinking", which for Knox meant engaging with the research field of the internet of things. He gave an example of something he had devised, which sent a tweet whenever a book was put on a bookstand, which signalled the possible involvement of tangible things being involved in MOOCs. He felt it was important to breach the online/offline boundary to “give voice to the more than human complexity”.

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