Very enjoyable discussions on data, software, discourse, power and knowledge were had at the Data in Discourse Analysis conference at the TU Darmstadt on Wednesday 18 February. Drawing partly on analysis with Juliane Jarke on predictive analytics within the DATAFIED project, Felicitas Macgilchrist reflected on how discourse studies’ „object of analysis“ is changing as education is increasingly datafied.
She observes changes to the discourse “about” education, the discourse “in” education, and alerts us to the need to analyse the discourse “encoded into” education. Here’s the updated abstract for the paper:
Datafication, the increased transformation of information about education into digitally manipulable data, is a process occurring in educational practice and in (critical) discourse analytical research on education. In part one of this paper, I explore three ways in which ‘digital data’ have changed the way educational discourse studies perceives its object of analysis. First, ‘data about education’ flow abundantly. Schools are producing more numeric data about their students than ever before. Critical discourse studies have analysed, e.g., PISA, ICILS and other international assessments, the media reports about these assessments, and the networks of ‘experts’ from data science, who are increasingly working alongside government agencies to co-write educational policy. Critical analyses have traced these distributed policy networks, following how discursive elements move across sectors. Second, discourse analyses of classroom practices are investigating ‘data in education’. Studies observe how digital data are transformed into data visualisations, analysing, for instance, the uptake of data visualizations by teachers and students during class time. Third, we can observe ‘data encoded into education’. Here, I see the most substantial change for discourse studies. Algorithms written by specific teams in specific (primarily for-profit) contexts shape the software with which teachers and students engage. Discourse analysts begin to look at code, learning analytics, dashboard design, software documentation. In part two of the paper, a short “worked example” from predictive analytics walks through these three dimensions, reflecting on how data have changed the way discourse studies perceives its object of analysis. The paper ends by suggesting epistemological, political and practical questions for future research.
Introduction to the topic: How to investigate the new normal? In search of inventive methods for inquiring the datafication of education“
On Thursday, 30 January 2020, a methodology workshop on software studies took place at the premises of the Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib). Participants were representatives of all participating subprojects as well as Mathias Decuypere, who is an assistant professor at the KU Leuven and researches and teaches in the field of educational science methodology.
The workshop was opened with a presentation of Decuypere’s work on the topic “How to investigate the new normal? In search of inventive methods for inquiring the datafication of education”. The workshop was followed by a fruitful exchange of ideas between the participants. Various approaches from Decuypere’s presentation were taken up and further developed. Many valuable references to interesting literature sources and other projects were exchanged. In the course of this, the influence of the order of the methods used on the results was discussed, among other things.
After a short break, Jasmin Troeger and Irina Zakharova presented the current status of the methods used in subprojects 2 and 3, as well as considerations for further work. A lively exchange of ideas was also fostered on these presentations.
The workshop was guided by the following questions:
How can we study (learning) software? How can we frame/understand software?
What are the challenges in studying software?
What types of methods can be used and what types of knowledge do they produce/what types of knowledge do they privilege?
How can we study data produced and processed in such systems?
What are the effects of using certain methods / following certain approaches (e.g. with regard to the performativity of our methods and procedures)
All participants of the joint project would like to thank Mathias Decuypere once again for his interest in the DATAFIED project, his participation in the Software Studies Workshop, and his valuable input.
Vom 11. bis 12.Dezember fand das vierte Verbundtreffen des vom BMBF geförderten Projekts DATAFIED statt – dieses Mal in den beindruckenden, neuen Räumlichkeiten des Leibniz-Instituts für Bildungsforschung und Bildungsinformation (DIPF) in Frankfurt.
helle, offene Architektur mit weihnachtlicher Dekoration im DIPF
Im Mittelpunkt des Treffens stand die Vorstellung und die Diskussion der ersten Ergebnisse aus den einzelnen Teilprojekten. Hierbei konnten beispielsweise erste Eindrücke aus den Interviews wiedergegeben werden. Auch wurden die einzelnen Projektteilnehmer über die Quintessenz von Dokumentenanalysen informiert.
Als interdisziplinäres Projekt birgt DATAFIED viel Potential und schafft Raum für einen regen Austausch, wie z.B. der Verwendung und Definition von Begrifflichkeiten sowie den Einsatz von Methoden. Auch über Möglichkeiten der Verzahnung der Teilprojektergebnisse wurde intensiv gesprochen und erste Ideen stehen im Raum.
Über die inhaltlichen Themen hinaus gab es einige organisatorische Aspekte zu planen. Hierzu gehörten u.a. die Herausforderungen im Rahmen der Akquise von Schulen und anderen Interviewpartnern.
Veranstaltungsraum DIPF Eingangsbereich mit DIPF-Team in der Tür
Nach dem ersten Jahr befindet sich das Projekt durch viele verzögerte, jedoch notwendige Vorbereitungsschritte, hinter dem Planungsstand. Dennoch gestaltet sich die Zukunft des Projekts für das kommende Jahr mit der intensiven Feldarbeit sehr optimistisch, da die Weichen für diese bereits gestellt sind.
beleuchtete Skulptur auf dem Campus Westend Frankfurt
Der erste Schnee des Jahres begleitete das Projektteam zum Abschluss des Verbundtreffens zu einem gemütlichen Beisammensein mit grüner Soße und Apfelwein.
From November 26 to 28, 2019, the doctoral students* of the DATAFIED project met in tranquil Braunschweig for methodological training in a workshop. On the first day the focus was on the art of reading and writing strategies. Guided by Dr. Sven Arnold, the participants gained valuable insights into the subject matter, so that the skills they had acquired so far could be reflected and optimized in this area.
Participants of the Workshop: Vito Dabisch, Tjark Raabe, Jasmin Tröger, Irina Zakharova, Ben Mayer (f. l. t. r.)
The second day was devoted to text analysis. In this context, the theoretical approach of the so-called Rich-Point-Analysis was presented, which we were able to apply practically afterwards. As a research group, the participants analyzed class observations under the guidance of Barbara Christophe.
The workshop ended in the evening of the 2nd day. All participants found it interesting and helpful to receive further and more detailed information on the topic of reading and writing strategies and rich point analysis.
As part of subproject 3: “Digital learning software and teaching”, an interactive map was created showing the locations of the manufacturers of learning software. The map can be used in a variety of ways because it has many useful filters and can therefore be used optimally and efficiently for further research purposes. The manufacturers of digital learning software are classified according to location flags in different colours:
Level 0: Non-customizable software
Level 1: Learning Management (LMS)
Level 2: Data Driven Learning with Teacher Decision
Level 3: Data Driven Learning without Teacher Decision
On September 12 and 13, 2019 the international “DATA POWER: global in/securities” conference took place at the University of Bremen. On the second conference day the DATAFIED project had the opportunity to hold the session “DATAFIED: DATA For and in Education – The construction of school in a datafied society” within the framework of a dialogue café.
After a few introductory words by Annekatrin Bock on the general setting of the event and the thematic project DATAFIED, the participants embarked on a journey through a total of four stations. Even though the group was small, interesting discussions on the methods used and (surprising) differences between Germany and e.g. Great Britain arose.
From 23 to 24 September, the third joint meeting of the BMBF-funded DATAFIED project took place at the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg.
The meeting was used for an intensive exchange with the partners of the other participating institutions, the Helmut Schmidt University (HSU), the Georg Eckert Institute Leibniz Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI) and the Leibniz Institute for Educational Research and Information (DIPF).
In addition to the reports of the four subprojects on their current status and the interdisciplinary exchange of participants, this joint meeting was marked by the incipient field survey phase. In the course of the year, the subprojects were able to identify many relevant actors who can now be successively interviewed and researched. The coordination and the exchange of experiences in this regard are of great interest for all participants in order to be able to use synergies at an early stage or to face problems together. The discussion about the research methods used was not neglected either. Last but not least, there was an exchange between the doctoral students on their respective work statuses, and the first exposés could also be presented.
In addition, the personal contact between the scientists is a valuable effect of the quarterly meetings. The informal exchange between the individual TOPs and for dinner or lunch together is a pleasant change and considerably improves inter-institutional cooperation.
The next quarterly meeting is expected to take place in December in Frankfurt am Main at the DIPF.
On September 6th and 7th, 2019 the DATAFIED project team participated in the workshop “Exploring the Datafication, Digitalization and Automatization of Educational Governance and Practice” of the Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg. The workshop was organized by Sigrid Hartong and Annina Förschler within the framework of the DFG project “Bildungsdatenmanagement – Neue Wissens-, Interdependenz- und Einflussstrukturen im Kontext der Digitalisierung von Educational Governance“. The agenda of both days was filled with interesting lectures of various international researchers as well as discussion and question rounds on the topic of data archiving, digitisation and automation of educational policy aspects.
In addition, the workshop was divided into four sessions and thus offered a broad spectrum:
International perspectives on the multiple dynamics of data infrastructures in education
Discussing effects of datafication and digitalization for school management and the teaching profession
Methodologies and methods of (researching) big data in education
Broadening the Scope
The workshop was a great opportunity to discuss current topics on an international level as well as to establish and intensify contacts. Thank you very much for the invitation!
For further information on the workshop, please visit the website of the Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg: https://www.hsu-hh.de/opal/exploring-the-datafication-digitalization-and-automatization-of-educational-governance-and-practice/
From 03rd to 06th September 2019 the ECER (European Conference on Educational Research) took place again on the campus of the University of Hamburg. This year’s conference was held under the theme “Education in an Era of Risk – the Role of Educational Research for the Future” and thus offered an optimal framework for the presentation of the DATAFIED project.
The DATAFIED project was represented on site by Annekatrin Bock, Vito Dabisch, Sigrid Hartong, Sieglinde Jornitz and Jasmin Troeger. At noon on Wednesday, the project was finally introduced to interested listeners in the course of a short lecture.
Further information on this year’s ECER can be found at:
On the 15th of June 2019 the Open Campus of the University of Bremen took place for the third time. In addition to the many offers of the different departments, the projects of the ifib and the Lab “Information Management and Media Technology” of the Center for Media, Information and Communication Research (ZeMKI) were presented.
Prof. Dr. Juliane Jarke and Irina Zakharova spoke in the afternoon in the ZeMKI tent about the increasing datafication of education and their new project “DATAFIED: DATA For and In Education”. For one it was about the project goals: The analysis of transformation processes in the course of datafication of schools (e.g. the changing understanding of “good school” and the changing relationships and roles of different school actors). Examples which were discussed included the increasing uncertainty on the part of teachers, as a result of new data protection regulations or school rankings. Lastly, the project representatives reported on the upcoming empirical research in partner schools, the planned practical workshops and the Data Festival, which is to conclude the project in 2021.