Introducing Open Education Data

Open education data is a relatively new area of interest with only dispersed pockets of exploration having taken place worldwide. The phrase ‘open education data’ remains loosely defined but might be used to refer to:

  • all openly available data that could be used for educational purpose
  • open data that is released by education institutions

Understood in the former sense, open education data can be considered a subset of open education resources (OERs) where data sets are made available for use in teaching and learning. These data sets might not be designed for use in education, but can be repurposed and used freely.

In the latter sense, the interest is primarily around the release of data from academic institutions about their performance and that of their students. This could include:

  • Reference data such as the location of academic institutions
  • Internal data such as staff names, resources available, personnel data, identity data, budgets
  • Course data, curriculum data, learning objectives,
  • User-generated data such as learning analytics, assessments, performance data, job placements
  • Benchmarked open data in education that is released across institutions and can lead to change in public policy through transparency and raising awareness.

Last week I gave a talk at the at the LTI NetworkED Seminar series run by the London School of Economics Learning Technology and Innovation Department introducing open education data. The talk ended up being a very broad overview of how we can use open data sets to meet educational needs and the challenges and opportunities this presents, so for example issues around monitoring and privacy. Prior to giving the talk I was interviewed for the LSE blog.

A video of the talk is available on the CLTSupport YouTube Channel and embedded below.