Learning Data Committee

Part of the Learning Analytics Project, the Learning Data Committee is a high-level academic committee tasked with proposing institutional principles, policy, and practice with respect to learning data and providing advice to UBC’s Learning Technology Leadership Team.

The Committee engages with some of the “big issues” around the collection and use of learning data and liaises with other groups and committees across campus to address them.

Jump to a section: Current Members | Terms of Reference | Principles and Procedures | Agenda Items

Current Members

  • Simon Bates (Chair) – Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning, pro tem
  • Jennifer Burns – CIO and AVP, Information Technology (ex officio)
  • Laurel Evans – Director, Research Ethics, Office of Research Ethics
  • Paul Hancock – Legal Counsel, Information and Privacy, Office of the University Counsel
  • Marcela Hernandez – Chief Data Officer, Office of the CIO
  • Leah Macfadyen – Assistant Professor of Teaching, Faculty of Education
  • Stephanie McKeown – Chief Institutional Research Officer
  • Stephen Michaud – Senior Manager, Learning Applications Integrations & Analytics, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (non-voting)
  • Rella Ng – Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar
  • Laia Shpeller – Student Senator, Applied Science
  • Tammy Yasrobi – Associate Director, Teaching & Learning Technologies (non-voting)

Non-voting Attendee

Draft Terms of Reference

The Learning Data Committee plays a lead role in articulating UBC’s approach to the use of student data to support and enhance learning, through:

  • Close collaboration with the UBC Data Governance Program, which is tasked with creating the foundation to enable students, faculty, and staff to make data-driven decisions with measurable outcomes. Learn more about UBC’s data policies, procedures, and guidelines and see the full list of people and data communities involved in the Data Governance Program at UBC.
  • Dialogue with campus stakeholder groups, including student leaders, Senate committees, and the Office of Research Ethics.
  • Development, consultation, and proposal of principles, policies, and procedures regarding the use of student data to enhance learning.
  • Establishing an approach to guide the ethical use of student learning data for academic research purposes.

The Learning Data Committee has a particular focus on:

  • Transparency and open communication of the roles, rights, and responsibilities of all stakeholders in this area of activity.
  • Ways in which students can be engaged as active agents in development of the policies and procedures surrounding use of learning data.
  • Regular communication and exchange with the Learning Analytics Steering Committee.
  • Determining how and by whom aggregate data collected from a range of sources may be accessed and analyzed.

Purpose, Principles and Data Access

The Learning Data Committee has created two key documents as part of its work to develop and propose principles, policies, and procedures regarding the use of student data to support student learning: Learning Analytics at UBC: Purpose and Principles and Access to Learning Data for Evaluation and Enhancement.

Learning Analytics Purpose and Principles

The Learning Data Committee has developed Learning Analytics at UBC: Purpose and Principles [PDF] to guide the Learning Analytics Project and the formulation of UBC policies, as appropriate.

The Purpose and Principles highlight the need to ensure analytics activity is pursued in a manner that is sensitive to the ethical and privacy concerns inherent in collection, analysis, and retention of learning data. This document also addresses how data is to used and interpreted, the necessity of engaging students, ethical conduct and redress, and the need for ongoing review and refinement of approaches, policies, and processes.

The Principles and Procedures draw on work from other institutions and organizations and were developed through consultation with Deans, Associate Deans, student leadership, and committees of senate. This document has also been endorsed by the UBC Data Governance Steering Committee.

Access to Learning Data for Evaluation and Enhancement

At UBC, requests for access to learning data are processed by the designated data steward. The Learning Data Committee is the data steward for learning data at UBC.

Faculty members and their teaching teams (e.g., TAs and staff that faculty members appoint to their team) can access learning data from their own courses without requesting additional approvals in order to improve their courses or their teaching, to reflect on their prior courses offering, and generally speaking, for quality assurance purposes. These efforts are both supported by UBC’s learning analytics pilots and conducted independently by UBC faculty.

If a faculty member’s quality assurance activities require access to additional data (i.e., data that’s not available within their own course), then a formal application to the Learning Data Committee must be submitted. 

Request Access to Learning Data

The online Access to and Use of Learning Data for Quality Assurance / Enhancement Purposes application process provides a mechanism for submitting requests to the Learning Data Committee to access and use learning data for purposes of evaluation and quality assurance and enhancement.

Share Your Feedback

If you have comments or questions for the Learning Data Committee, please get in touch.

Agenda Items

2022 Agenda Items

March 2022:

  • Review new learning data request

Past Agendas

2021 Agenda Items

Feb 2021:

  • Review new learning data requests

March 2021:

  • Review new learning data requests

2020 Agenda Items

June 2020:

  • Review new learning data requests

2019 Agenda Items

February 2019:

    • Review draft - Information for students re: learning data
    • Feedback and Questions from Access to Learning Data for Evaluation and Enhancement form
    • Review new learning data requests

April 2019:

  • Review and discuss feedback on data access principles
  • Review and discuss new data access requests
  • Review and discuss Learning data, analytics + privacy documents for faculty and for students

September 2019:

2018 Agenda Items

February 2018:

      • Presentation: Student privacy issues and rights, by Paul Hancock, Legal Counsel, Information and Privacy
      • Review and discussion of case study examples

April 2018:

      • Presentation: Update on University Data Governance Committee
      • Review revised "Data Access and Use - working assumptions" document
      • Review draft Data Access Ethics Review process

May 2018:

      • Review revised "Access to Learning Data for evaluation and enhancement" document
      • Discuss Data Access and Use communications strategy

October 2018:

      • Case studies for discussion
      • Process for review of requests for access to learning data

2017 Agenda Items

May 2017:

      • Overview of Project presentation
      • Discuss draft Terms of Reference
      • Review principles to guide work of the Committee

October 2017:

      • Learning Analytics Project: Update on faculty pilots and technical working groups
      • Review and discuss draft Purpose and Principles document

November 2017:

      • Review of revised Purpose and Principles document
      • Review of prototype scenarios to surface data, security and privacy implications