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The unbearable lightness of consent: Mapping MOOC providers’ response to consent


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The unbearable lightness of consent: Mapping MOOC providers’ response to consent L@S Conference 2018 Mohammad Khalil, Paul Prinsloo, & Sharon Slade

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The unbearable lightness of consent: Mapping MOOC providers’ response to consent

  1. 1. Mapping MOOC providers’ response to consent Mohammad Khalil Delft University of Technology, NL Paul Prinsloo University of South Africa, SA Sharon Slade Open University, UK Consent
  2. 2. 2 Hello! @ L@S 2018 - London
  3. 3. 3 28.06.2018 search MOOCs are Important
  4. 4. 4 81,000,000* CC0 * Class Central 2017
  5. 5. 5 Data CC0
  6. 6. “Any information relating to an identified natural person such as name, location data, identification number… -GDPR 6 CC0
  7. 7. ““Personal data about learning behavior may be viewed as particularly sensitive…..combined with data analytics, they might also be used to predict professional future and career opportunities (p.2)” – International Working Group on Data Protection 7 CC0
  8. 8. 8 • • • • • • CC0
  9. 9. What is Consent? CC0
  10. 10. 10Image credit:
  11. 11. 11 The Study Questions: CC0 Q1: How is ‘personal data’ defined, is ‘sensitive data’ acknowledged? Q2: Is student consent addressed? Q3: Is student data ‘used’ to personalize or intervene?
  12. 12. How did we approach the questions? 12
  13. 13. 10 million* students 1750+ courses 25 million* students 2500+ courses 7 million* students 640+ courses 1 million* students 110+ courses * Figures might change
  14. 14. CC0 Unit of Analysis
  15. 15. Documents analyzed -Terms of Use -Privacy Policy -Terms of Use -Privacy Policy -Terms of Service & Honor Code -Privacy Policy -Accessibility & inclusion, Cookie, Data protection, Terms and Conditions, Research ethics Total: 37k words, 120 pages
  16. 16. Text Analysis CC0
  17. 17. Information, personal, privacy, access, consent, data, collection US providers: FutureLearn: Information, cookies, policy, research, consent, data, personalised Iversity: Google, Facebook, data, analytics, media, privacy
  18. 18. Proportion Comparison
  19. 19. Providers r edX ↔ Coursera 0.519 edX ↔ iversity 0.449 edX ↔ FutureLearn 0.383 Coursera ↔ iversity 0.384 Coursera ↔ FutureLearn 0.470 iversity ↔ FutureLearn 0.522 P-value <.001 Providers r edX ↔ Coursera 0.902 edX ↔ iversity 0.204 edX ↔ FutureLearn 0.529 Coursera ↔ iversity 0.263 Coursera ↔ FutureLearn 0.571 iversity ↔ FutureLearn 0.484 P-value <.001 Terms of Use Privacy Policy
  20. 20. • ‘Photo’ was mentioned in edX • The only provider that mentioned ‘sensitive data’ is Coursera • Intervention was not found in any of the policies nor in TOC • ‘individualization’, ‘recommendation’, ‘personalization’, ‘adapt’ were used as a broad equivalent to interventions • ‘agree’, ‘opt in/out’, ‘accept’, ‘authorize’ were used as synonyms for consent
  21. 21. Qualitative Analysis CC0
  22. 22. In terms of Personal Data All MOOC providers use name, email, forum posts, shared and generated content, and IP as personal data. edX defined PI as “any information about yourself that you may provide to us”. DOB, occupation, patterns of learning, 3rd party info, etc. are collected and may be used. Coursera includes the above-mentioned data + sample of typing patterns, login from third party website information.
  23. 23. Use of student data were given as: course improvements, authentication, research purposes, progress and completion, & third party sharing. In terms of Personal Data iversity focused more on mining the linkaged data from Facebook. FutureLearn appears to collect less personal info than the US provdiers. FutureLearn gives you the right to opt out from being tracked by the Google Analytics service. Overall
  24. 24. Opting not to provide certain information prohibit you from using MOOC services In terms of Consent If you do not agree, then please do not access, browse, or register for the site - edX Coursera offers students to opt out of using personal data
  25. 25. The extent to which use of data leads to personalization is not always made clear In terms of Intervention Non-course specific data like Facebook likes remains unclear!
  26. 26. CC0 GDPR
  27. 27. 29 Niall Sclater
  28. 28. “ 31 Conclusion Operational use of student data has largely not been considered Opting out remains severely constrained Initial consent does not provide a blank cheque to harvest personal data
  29. 29. 32 Thank you! Mohammad Khalil Paul Prinsloo Sharon Slade @ @ @ L@S 2018 - London