The ethical use of learning analytics


This project brought together learning analytics experts from across Australia to explore key ethical issues relating to the development and use of learning analytics in higher education. The result of these discussions was a discussion paper that provides an outline of seven ethical principles as well as practical considerations associated with the use of learning analytics.


The ever-increasing availability of data about student activities in educational environments presents many opportunities for the improvement of learning and teaching through the use of learning analytics. In applying analytics, there is an obligation that educators and institutions ensure that data and analysis techniques are used appropriately. The range of ethical considerations that educational institutions must face is complex, and many institutions are still formulating their approach to ensuring ethical practice in this field.

The objective of this project was to draw together contemporary research and current practice in the area of ethics and learning analytics, and use this to produce a discussion paper that provides guidance to a range of higher education stakeholders including students, educators, researchers, and senior leaders.


This project run between 2017-2018 was coordinated by the Melbourne CSHE and supported by the institutions of the partner researchers.


  • Associate Professor Linda Corrin, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Professor Gregor Kennedy, The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Sarah French, The University of Melbourne
  • Professor Simon Buckingham Shum, University of Technology Sydney
  • Dr Kirsty Kitto, University of Technology Sydney
  • Professor Abelardo Pardo, University of South Australia
  • Professor Deborah West, Flinders University
  • Dr Negin Mirriahi, University of South Australia
  • Dr Cassandra Colvin, Charles Sturt University


The outcome of this project was a discussion paper that is available to senior leaders, teachers, students in higher education and related industry.

Download the discussion paper

Please cite as:
Corrin, L., Kennedy, G., French, S., Buckingham Shum S., Kitto, K., Pardo, A., West, D., Mirriahi, N., & Colvin, C. (2019). The Ethics of Learning Analytics in Australian Higher Education. A Discussion Paper.

More information

Professor Gregor KennedyDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Professor of Higher Education, Melbourne CSHE, The University of Melbourne