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Title:Protecting privacy: A case study on data collection and surveillance in educational environments
Author(s):Ilci, Ahmet
Director of Research:Burbules, Nicholas C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Burbules, Nicholas C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Dyson, Anne H. H.; McCarthy, Cameron R.; Blanken-Webb, Jane H.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):education
higher education
online learning
online learning environments
educational technology
learning management systems
privacy
security
qualitative research
Abstract:Privacy and surveillance are pervasive words not only in higher education but also in many areas in our life. We use and hear them often while shopping online, reading the news, or checking the policies and terms of websites. In this study, I highlight the challenges of data collection and surveillance in education, specifically, in online learning environments in higher education. While data collection and surveillance may have potential benefits to education, they may also have threats to educational values when they are not used properly. I present potential threats of data collection and surveillance to education and reveal what educational values are conversely affected by them. I also give information about the data techniques such as aggregation, profiling, classification, etc. and explore their potential risks to education. This is a qualitative study which employs a case study design. Moodle, a learning management system, is the primary setting of this study. In this study, I collected data from three main groups of students, instructors, and full-time employees (FTE) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I conducted interviews with each participant in the spring and summer semesters of 2019. I utilized data analysis and looked for answers to my research questions. Lastly, I reviewed policy documents and guidelines to identify the shortcomings of policies and looked for the answers to the question: Why are so few people reading and engaging in privacy policies? In concluding this study, I argue for the obligations of online learning stakeholders such as students, instructors, and IT staff. In this sense, every participant in education needs to act according to their obligations to contribute to the creation of secure online learning environments. Furthermore, I argue that we need better policies. For this reason, we need paradigm shifts in the policies to keep up with advanced data collection technologies. Finally, I claim that data collection is beneficial for education, and it is possible to benefit from the advantages of data collection without violating students' privacy.
Issue Date:2020-11-30
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/109382
Rights Information:© 2020 Ahmet Ilci
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-03-05
Date Deposited:2020-12


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