Data, Artificial Intelligence, and the future of learning

Jeremy Knox, Xin Cui, Yu Jin, Bo Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper suggests the need for critical reflection on the increasing use of data-driven technology in education. While the involvement of private companies in the provision of educational technologies is well-established, the recent pandemic as seen a huge surge in the deployment of privately-owned systems, principally software platforms. Two concepts are suggested for thinking critically about the ‘learning’ involved in technologies: firstly, the ‘division of learning’ (Zuboff 2019) will highlight distinct inequalities in the ways learning is undertaken through educational platforms; and secondly the return of ‘behaviourism’ will emphasise the ways in which very particular understandings of learning are becoming dominant. The second part of the paper will offer two examples of research-led teaching that suggest ways of fostering critical thinking amongst students about data-driven technologies, and the future of education: firstly, a bespoke learning analytics programme developed to encourage students to reflect on their own data collection and analysis; and secondly, an assessment task foregrounding hand-drawn data visualisation as a form of critical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
JournalThe Chinese Journal of ICT in Education
Issue number509
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022


  • data
  • artificial intelligence
  • AI
  • future education
  • behaviourism


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