Hinchliffe Awarded IMLS Grant to Develop Training on Privacy in Library Learning Analytics

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Affiliate Professor

Affiliate Professor Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, professor and coordinator for information literacy services and instruction in the University Library, in collaboration with Kyle Jones, assistant professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at the Indiana University-Indianapolis (IUPUI), has been awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for Prioritizing Privacy: Training to Improve Practice in Library Analytics Projects.

This three-year grant for $249,198 will support the development of a continuing education program to train academic library practitioners to comprehensively address privacy and related ethical considerations in learning analytics projects.  The training will be developed by Hinchliffe and Jones working with a team of content experts and guided by the input of an expert advisory board.

As a result of participating in the Prioritizing Privacy training, academic library practitioners will be better prepared to consider the privacy implications of library analytics projects and to improve the design of such projects in order to strengthen student privacy protections. Participants will have expanded knowledge of the interplay and tensions among learning analytics and library values as well as improved ability to navigate these considerations.

In addition to providing opportunities for face-to-face or online training for up to 400 participants, the grant team will develop an open educational resource packet consisting of the training curriculum, guidelines for facilitating the training, and recommendations for incorporating the materials into other training programs and library science courses.

Hinchliffe explained that, given the nature of learning analytics projects, the potential impact of this project is tremendous: "Librarians tend to work with campus partners on learning analytics projects and such projects may involve data from thousands of students. If, for example, if each participant in the training conducts a learning analytics project with 2,500 students, the Prioritizing Privacy training will impact the privacy protections offered to 1 million students."

Jones continued on stating, "I'm thrilled to be working with our collaborators on this important program. Providing the time and structure to reflect on the library profession's values while pursuing learning analytics will empower librarians to be ethical leaders throughout higher education."

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