With increasing research into the learner experience comes increasing need to consider the ethics of this type of research. The only two questions we received about the two papers we presented at the Networked Learning Conference in Aarlborg, were both about ethics.
The first question was ‘What are the ethical considerations that need to be taken into account when ‘experimenting’ on learners?’ This was in relation to the CCK08 course in which George Siemens and Stephen Downes attempted to destabilise the notion of a course. Our Ideals and Reality of Participating in a MOOC paper concluded that there needs to be more research into the ethics of running massive open online courses – so this question was not a surprise and unfortunately the 20 minute slot that we had for presenting the paper and answering questions did not allow time for discussion.
The second question related to our Blogs and Forums as Communication and Learning Tools in a MOOC paper. The question was whether it is ethical to aggregate blog posts from course participants. As far as I can remember (in CCK08) participants were were asked to tag their blog posts with #CCK08, so that they could be easily located. Most participants would also have been familiar with Stephen Downes’ OLDaily – so I’m not sure where this leaves the ethics question.
To learn more and hear what others say, I will attend the ELESIG Webinar On Wednesday of this week (May 19th)
Webinar: Doing It Right! Methods, Ethics and Hearing the Learner Voice.
Joint HE Ethics and Web 2.0 SIG & ELESIG, with John Traxler
Wednesday 19 May 2010
11:00am – 12.30pm
Speakers (not necessarily in this order):
Dr Roy Williams, University of Portsmouth, “Paradoxes of Audio Narratives”
Liz Masterman, Oxford University Computing Services, “Ethical issues associated with an extended e-mail interview technique: what we called our “Pen-Pal” Method”
Amanda Jefferies, University of Hertfordshire, “‘Using student constructed video diaries – reflections from the STROLL project”
Karen Fitzgibbon, University of Glamorgan, “Helping to shape and enhance the student experience”
Ali Messer, Roehampton University, “Appreciative enquiry as a method in part for ethical reasons”
Adele Cushing, Barnet College, “Do’s and Don’ts’ from a mobile learning project – experiences and personal accounts”
For more information see: http://elesig.ning.com/
All ELESIG events are free. The only requirement is that you become a member (this is also free!)