Exploring data practices in Higher Education Institutions: A study

A tale of two universities…

Read the synthesis of results

We keep on exploring the idea of Data Cultures. We did it now through this survey which uncovered data practices in teaching. Our initial assumption is that the institutions adopt data practices (or get used to them) according not only to individual initiatives of research and innovation, but above all, aligning to the institutional cultures and their vision of professionalism and quality.

Data-driven science and data-driven education are emerging in the daily scenarios of academic practice. Somehow, a social representation about the relevance of metrics and quantification in research and teaching innovation is rising. However, the increasing issues uncovered across huge social experiments using data and AI have also raised concern and a critique relating data usages in the society. 

Our study aims at exploring the emerging faculty data practices within the context of digital scholarship. We built over an ongoing reflection (see the Webinar Series “Data Cultures in Higher Education”) towards the development of a conceptual and interventionist apparatus supporting scholars’ critical awareness of data practices within the context of Open Science and Open Education frameworks. 

We also embraced the construct of “learning ecologies” as a lens to explore how scholars make sense of the current data-practices, the perceived learning needs, the institutional opportunities, etc.to enact the professional learning pathways they need to engage with increasingly datafied contexts within and beyond Higher Education Institutions. 

The chosen methodological approach is, this way, a survey, for it is a preparatory phase to launch activities supporting professional learning within a strategy of institutional development. And why not, a tactical approach to support free spaces of activism. To this regard, we are also mapping pedagogical practices: see how this curated space is growing and learn about other (much more) well advanced projects on data literacy 😉  

We hope the results of this study trigger your curiosity and let you (and/or) your institution dig into its own Data Cultures and connected practices.

Published by jraffaghelli

Research professor at University of Padua, Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology. Former Ramon y Cajal researcher at the Faculty of Education and Psychology (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). PhD in Education and Cognitive Science and Master in Adult Education (Ca' Foscari University of Venice) Degree in Psychology (University of Buenos Aires).

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