Digital footprints in the university space

Timur M. Khusyain­ov
Nation­al Research Uni­ver­si­ty High­er School of Eco­nom­ics

Dig­i­tal foot­prints in the uni­ver­si­ty space

Abstract. This work con­sid­ers the use of dig­i­tal traces in the edu­ca­tion­al envi­ron­ment and the specifics of their col­lec­tion and analy­sis at the uni­ver­si­ty. One way or anoth­er, all par­tic­i­pants in the edu­ca­tion­al process, as well as those who can poten­tial­ly become them, for exam­ple, appli­cants, leave dig­i­tal traces in the dig­i­tal envi­ron­ments of the uni­ver­si­ty and the Glob­al Net­work in gen­er­al, and these traces can be ana­lyzed. At the same time, even the uni­ver­si­ty itself as an orga­ni­za­tion leaves a cer­tain dig­i­tal foot­print on the Inter­net. At the moment, most researchers are very opti­mistic, con­tem­plat­ing on what pos­i­tive changes can be brought by the analy­sis of dig­i­tal traces of appli­cants, stu­dents and teach­ers for the devel­op­ment of the uni­ver­si­ty itself, the edu­ca-tion­al process, and the for­ma­tion of indi­vid­ual learn­ing paths.
In con­trast to this, the author iden­ti­fies a num­ber of pos­si­ble prospects for the analy­sis of Big Data and the use of Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence for edu­ca­tion at the uni­ver­si­ty of the future. Atten­tion is focused on how this can affect the safe­ty of the envi­ron­ment and con­flict with eth­i­cal stan­dards. Par­tic­i­pants in the edu­ca­tion­al process, falling under the analy­sis of their dig­i­tal traces, can both suf­fer because of them, even if their activ­i­ties have not been in any way con­nect­ed with the uni­ver­si­ty, and begin to hide their true dig­i­tal iden­ti­ty, cre­at­ing «false» dig­i­tal traces and becom­ing anon-ymous. The author assumes that an increase in such con­trol cov­er­ing actions, thoughts and emo­tions nat­u­ral­ly results in the emer­gence of the con­cept of a «Dark» Uni­ver­si­ty, which dis­tances itself as much as pos­si­ble from such meth­ods of ana­lyz­ing per­son­al data.

Key­words: dig­i­tal foot­print, uni­ver­si­ty space, online edu­ca­tion, Big Data, Smart Uni­ver­si­ty, Dig­i­tal Uni­ver­si­ty, “Dark” Uni­ver­si­ty, edu­ca-tion­al tra­jec­to­ry, data analy­sis, high­er edu­ca­tion

DOI: 10.32326/2618–9267–2021–4–2–52–72


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