Designing for Responsible Learning Analytics: A User-Centered Approach Workshop at EC-TEL 21

Together with colleagues from Australia, Norway, the UK, and Sweden, we are organizing a workshop at EC-TEL on September 20 – a morning session.

The workshop is about ”Designing for Responsible Learning Analytics: A User-Centered Approach” and builds on the successful workshop we organized at LAK 21.

This time we invite participants to play with futuring methods (e.g., design fiction, social design fiction, or other) to create design fiction scenarios envisioning responsible learning analytics in 2031. We will discuss the design fiction scenarios created in groups regarding i-the learning/educational assumptions embedded in the fictive scenarios and ii- the socio-technical, political-economic, and ethical aspects (including environmental issues) that configure and shape such design fiction scenarios.

Questions about the workshop contact me! –

Digital Human Sciences @Stockholm University

Thank you to Sonya Petersson for leading us in this journey. The book  published by Stockholm University press is now out and it is open access.

Our research project funded by WASP-HS has contributed two chapters: 

Down load the book here!

Read about the fantastic work that my colleagues are conducting at the DHV-hub
Interested in joining the book release?

Register here! The seminar is on the 3rd September 2021

Bokomslag: "Digital Human Sciences: New Objects – New Approaches"


What a great workshop! OK, it was super late, the workshop started at 23.00 CET but what a committed and engaged group of people. Excellent organization, compelling discussions, and great activity on Miró. My colleague Sharon Lindberg and I presented our position paper on Teaching Tech Ethics in Practice which we would like to further discuss so we can develop our ideas on how to teach ethics for students in computer science and human-computer interaction. 

A list of all the accepted position papers is available here:

Many thanks to:

  • Ajit G. Pillai (The University of Sydney)

  • A. Baki Kocaballi (University of Technology Sydney)

  • Tuck Wah Leong (University of Technology Sydney)

  • Rafael A. Calvo (Imperial College London)

  • Nassim Parvin (Georgia Institute of Technology)

  • Katie Shilton (University of Maryland College Park)

  • Jenny Waycott (University of Melbourne)

  • Casey Fiesler (University of Colorado Boulder)

  • John C. Havens (The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems)

  • Naseem Ahmadpour (The University of Sydney)


Mapping the Ethics of Learning Analytics in Higher Education

Ethics is a prominent topic nowadays. With the increasing deployment of AI in various sectors of society, conversations about ethics are everywhere. From ethics washing to ethics bashing, a cacophony characterizes a discourse on ethics that reflects various research agendas, political forces, and economic interests.  

In this context, Cormac McGrath and I looked at the use of AI in higher education which promises to transform the university into educational institutions driven by evidence-based practices.  What are the risks with such a transformation? How will relations between student-educational institutions be affected? Who will be the most benefited from AI-driven education? Who will be the most affected? 

With these questions in mind, we engaged with a literature review of the ethics of learning analytics in higher education. We are now happy to share the results of this effort in the following open access article published by the Journal of Learning Analytics/Society for Learning Analytics Research.

Here an excerpt from the article:

“Studies that further develop the sociocritical perspectives of Learning Analytics in Higher Education (HE), focusing on the students (Slade & Prinsloo, 2013; Prinsloo & Slade, 2017a) and that engage with the structural power imbalance between educational stakeholders are promising (Chen & Zhu, 2019). In this line of thinking, perspectives that view ethics as matters of care (Prinsloo & Slade, 2017a; Puig de la Bellacasa, 2011) and data as a form of power (D’Ignazio & Klein, 2020) will certainly provide insights to reflect on decisions that, while seemingly just and fair, may not necessarily care about the people involved in HE (Johnson, 2018)”. 



Join@LAK 2021 and participate in the Responsible Learning Analytics Workshop!

Read the call:

We welcome participants to submit position papers discussing ethical dilemmas they have encountered in their practice. These position papers should (a) discuss the context of the case, (b) the ethical concerns, targeting the various stakeholders involved and the principles in tension, and (c) technical, policy, and other approaches that have informed addressing the dilemma, and the effectiveness of these. 

We also welcome participants interested in attending and participating in the discussions (without submitting position papers).


  • Submit a 4-6 pages position paper using the  LAK companion proceedings

  • The accepted position papers will be shared in advance with the workshop participants

  • Submissions will be collated on the workshop website. Publication of the workshop contributions is intended in a joint “LAK Companion Proceedings” . 

  • Participants will post-workshop be invited to contribute to a special issue or similar on “Responsible LA”. 

Important Dates

  • Submission opens 1 Dec 2020

  • Submission deadline 9 Feb 2021

  • Notification of acceptance 23 Feb 2021

Submit your position paper or interest in participating via Easy Chair

Workshop goals

  • Introducing “Responsible LA” via concepts and sensitivities coming from the fields of Science & Technology Studies (Puig de La Bellacasa, 2011) and Human-computer interaction (Buckingham Shum et al., 2019; D’Ignazio & Klein, 2019). By Responsible LA, we refer to the need to create LA systems that are just and ethical but also that consider  equity, democratic and solidarity in education. 

  • Promoting discussions on the ethics of data-driven practices from the ground aimed to inform practitioners on the ethical challenges that emerge in practice.

  • Creating a wiki or other type of artifact contributing to a repository of ethical practice, as suggested by Kiitto and Knight (2019).

  • Helping participants to reflect on ethical challenges that speak of a disconnect between research and practice and find research collaboration opportunities.

The workshop outcomes will advance the LA field by informing the community on ethical challenges encountered in practice (during the development, design, and/or use of LA systems). 

One concrete outcome of the workshop will be starting an artifact (e.g., wiki) to document edge ethical cases in general terms, not linked to particular individuals or institutions that will be shared in the community for reflective discussions and further study.

New Project! funded by WASP-HS Human Learning


Ethical and Legal Challenges in Relationship to AI-driven Practices in Higher Education

Recent developments have suggested ways of using AI to understand better and optimize student learning, ensure improvements in educational quality, and boost retention rates.

While these unprecedented technical and research developments promise to unlock the black box of student learning and to inform educational institutions about the complexities of educational processes, the use of student data and analytics techniques raises a series of issues that require ethical and legal considerations. However, there is currently little understanding of ethics in relation to deploying AI in the education sector. This is partly due to the scant attention that ethical concerns have received compared to the increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness of such systems.

This project addresses fundamental ethical and legal challenges that AI technologies bring to learning and teaching in higher education. It will contribute knowledge about how to conceptually and empirically approach these challenges, but most importantly, how to deal with ethical issues in practice.

Grounded in post-phenomenological investigations of human-technology relations, this project will contribute to a relational, dynamic, and situated understanding of ethics in everyday education. Bringing together direct and indirect educational stakeholders, the project aims to raise awareness towards responsible use of AI by setting up the Swedish Ethical Observatory for AI in higher education.

Principal investigator: Teresa Cerratto Pargman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Human-Computer Interaction, Dept. of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University
Co-Principal investigator: Cecilia Magnusson-Sjöberg, Ph.D.
Professor of Law and Information Technology, Dept. of Law, Stockholm University

Project members:
Cormac McGrath, Associate Professor of Education, Stockholm University
Liane Colonna, Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Law, Stockholm University
Jaakko Hollmén, Associate Professor of Computer Sciences, Dept. of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University

Scientific Advisory Board

Book Review

The Journal Postdigital Science and Education invited me to read the fabulous book “Student Engagement in the Digital University: Sociomaterial Assemblages,” published by Lesley Gourlay and Martin Oliver in 2018. The review I wrote starts with the following introduction:

Lesley Gourlay and Martin Oliver’s Student Engagement in the Digital University: Sociomaterial Assemblages (2018) is a welcome and critical contribution to the study of how students actually engage with the digital university in everyday practice. Inspired by scholars in New Literacy Studies (NLS), Science and Technology Studies (STS), and by Actor-Network Theory (ANT), Gourlay and Oliver argue for a socio-material understand- ing of students’ digital engagement by adopting assemblages (Latour 2005; Fenwick et al. 2015; Bennett 2010) as a conceptual lens. The authors make their case through the study of ‘students’ day-to-day practices of studying’ (62) in the digital university and develop their argument in 12 compelling chapters that read as a liberating narrative from the non- stop messianic ‘tech-talk’ in education (Selwyn 2016: ix). In this context, Gourlay and Oliver (2018) unpack complex issues like How do current discourses and ideologies position students, teachers, scholarship, and the university in relation to the digital in higher education? How does research in education approach students’ agency in the digital university? What kind of revolution follows the use of digital technology in universities―if any? What can (or cannot) we as researchers perceive when applying models and frameworks on empirical student data?

Reading about these issues offers a breath of fresh air that entices the curious reader to learn more about ‘student engagement as a set of socio-material practices’ (Gourlay and Oliver 2018: 9) and to engage with the ‘messy, imperfect, contingent and improvised’ (11) nature of student practices in digital-analog entanglements. By doing so, one embarks on an intellectually stimulating journey that starts with offering a critique to abstract discourses of the digital in higher education; continues with empirical studies of the students’ day-to-day practices in the digital university; and ends by suggesting assemblages as a lens for the study of socio-material practices in higher education.

Cerratto Pargman, T. Review of Lesley Gourlay and Martin Oliver (2018). Student Engagement in the Digital University: Sociomaterial AssemblagesPostdigit Sci Educ (2020).




IV Encuentro Internacional Interfaces de Conocimiento

El Laboratorio de Tecnologías para la Socialización(LabTEC), dependiente de la Secretaría de Extensión Universitaria y Bienestar Estudiantil (SEUBE) organizó el IV Encuentro Internacional “Interfaces de conocimiento” a través de la plataforma Meet de Google. Esto fue una excelente oportunidad para intercambiar visiones del futuro de la educación en Latinoamérica y el Caribe. Las charlas aportaron análisis de casos que dan cuenta de los desafíos de la transformación digital en la vida cotidiana, en la emergencia y en la post-pandemia.

El encuentro se puede acceder aqui





ICLS Symposium: Learning in Unbounded Landscapes -Conceptualizations and Design from an Ecological Perspective

This symposium seeks to advance an understanding of learning from an ecological perspective. The abundance of digital technologies and rapid changes in knowledge domains generate new epistemic and learning practices, drawing on heterogeneous sets of resources, actors, and forms of knowledge. Consequently, learners must navigate complex and unstructured landscapes to gather resources and structure knowledge activities. In doing so, they create continuity and connections between various unbound spaces of learning, i.e., they create their own learning ecologies. Little is known about these processes and how they can be examined or supported. This symposium argues for the necessity of a paradigmatic shift towards an ‘ecological understanding’, which takes into account the enactment of the learning ‘act’, the knowledge forms, contexts, relationships, digital technologies and infrastructures that shape learning practices in unbound landscapes. The four contributions employ an ecological perspective on various aspects of learning and use empirical illustrations to build an argument leading towards a new educational research and learning design agenda. The contributions are complementary as they pinpoint practices students, teachers and institutions engage with and and challenges they are facing in this unbounded landscape.

The symposium was led by Crina Damşa, University of Oslo, Norway & Christoph Richter  Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany. The discussant was Jim Slotta, University of Toronto. The contributers were: Lina Markauskaite, Natasha Arthars, Natalie Spence, Heidrun Allert, Zacharias Andreadakis, Christoph Richter, Crina Damşa and me (Teresa Cerratto Pargman). 

Here is the entire text also accessible in the ICSL 2020 Proceedings and the slides presented via Zoom.