Towards a Closer Look at the Pipes and Joints of Educational Data Infrastructures
A Technogenetic Analysis of the Experience API
Keywords:critical data studies, technogenesis, infrastructure, standards, xAPI
More recently, scholars in the field Critical Data Studies have turned attention to the infrastructures by means of which educational data is produced, processed, circulated, and consumed. While respective studies have rightly emphasized the social, cultural, political, and economic factors that are shaping these infrastructures, the technical dimension of these developments has remained largely unexplored. As a consequence, analyses are easily deemed irrelevant by technologists and designers engaged in educational datamining and learning analytics. This paper therefore aims to broaden the analytic scope of Critical Data Studies in education and to engage more closely with the technical dimension of the emerging educational data infrastructures. Towards this end, the paper outlines a technogenetic account of (digital) infrastructures and standards, and provides a case-study to illustrate how this account can be leveraged to unravel assumptions and perspectives implied in an educational technology standard such as the Experience API. The results of the case study indicate that while the Experience API is highly abstract and generic nature, it lends itself to a rather restricted idea of learning and education.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Christoph Richter, Lars Raffel, Heidrun Allert
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