A couple of years ago Adam Brown and I had a chat about surveillance in the classroom (or ‘eduveillance’ as he coins it).

“I tell students that I can find out pretty much…the number of times the CloudDeakin site is accessed, when they’re accessed, for how long they’re accessed, what is looked at, for how long it’s looked at. All that kind of stuff is there at my finger tips”.

Adam Brown, 2016

From learning management system (LMS) engagement analytics all the way through to real time campus heat maps (generated by Wifi hot spot usage) when does innovation start to encroach on a student’s privacy?

Contrastingly, there have been some pretty innovative ways to utilise LMS artificial intelligence agents to create a more personalised experience for students. For instance, Dr Jaclyn Broadbent from Deakin’s School of Psychology uses intelligent agents to send encouraging feedback videos to students based on their assignment results.

Does the knowledge of being watched add to a student’s stress about their education? Or, are these forms of surveillance merely seen as everyday tech-enabled convenience? Simply a means to minimise work for (already over worked) teachers (i.e regular reporting could replace dastardly end of term reports).

Whilst the Deakin ‘Smart campus’ initiative promotes the benefits of utilising location technology to assist learning (such as assistance in the library), what might the consequences be if this data got into the wrong hands? I’ll leave that up to your imagination…

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What are your thoughts on eduveillance? Is it innovation or a breach of student privacy? Leave your comments below!

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