2 Survey Results: Executive Summary Executive Summary Introduction In recent years, a line of research has appeared in the library literature under the auspices of “Library Value” or “Library Impact” studies. The purpose of this research is to determine how library usage (e.g., of resources, services, spaces, etc.), relates to student learning and academic achievement outcomes. As a result of this, academic libraries are increasingly building capacity for, and participating in learning analytics (LA), which is defined as the “measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of [student and other data] for the purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs” (LAK, 2011). Using LA, libraries and their institutions believe they are more prepared to describe (what is happening?), diagnose (why did it happen?), and predict (what is likely to happen?) factors that influence or inhibit student learning, and prescribe (what should we do about it?) interventions. The success of LA depends in part on an institution’s ability to connect campus information systems— including those under the purview of libraries—to aggregate and analyze data about student. But as institutions continue to surface granular data and information about student life, the risk to student privacy grows. It is unclear how libraries are addressing those risks. The purpose of this survey was to illuminate current practices, policies, and ethical issues around libraries and learning analytics. This environmental scan explores how ARL member institutions are navigating the balance between gathering and managing data in support of learning analytics initiatives and attending to the profession’s ethics commitments. To these ends, the survey questions sought to answer these broad questions: how are academic libraries planning for, adopting, and participating in learning analytics initiatives? what mechanisms do they use to maintain data security and privacy? what ethical issues do they encounter when participating in learning analytics? and how do they negotiate and resolve those issues? The survey was conducted between April 30 and June 15, 2018. Fifty-three of the 125 ARL libraries responded to the survey for a 42% response rate. Learning Analytics Initiative Participation (Q1–Q6) The introductory questions asked about current participation in learning analytics initiatives within the libraries, focusing on participation, storage, and types of data collected both with or without personal identifiers. Of the 53 responding libraries, 83% indicated that they were participating in learning analytics projects, suggesting broad uptake across ARL institutions. Further, nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated that they had staff allocated to these types of projects. This high percentage of uptake and the
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