Reconfiguring surveillance futures for higher education using speculative data stories

Jen Ross, Anna Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Surveillance in many higher education settings has become increasingly pervasive and fine-grained. Concerns are growing about negative impacts on learning relationships, exploitative commercial uses of collected student data, discriminatory practices, and even political, social, or physical harm inflicted because of surveillance and monitoring. At the same time, complex surveillance cultures in higher education make it difficult to disentangle personal and collective responsibility, understand the gap between intentions and impacts, or navigate the risks that can come with addressing these matters. In 2020, the Data Stories research project used speculative and co-design approaches to develop a 'data stories' storytelling tool. The project supported people working and studying in higher education to create and share anonymous stories about what the future of surveillance in higher education might look like. This chapter explores the context for this work and draws out some themes from these stories, exploring a range of responses to surveillance that are expressed in them. We describe how the data stories tool was mobilised to produce a space for people to make and share new meanings around surveillance, in the form of Participatory Speculative Fictions, which have potential for working with and possibly reconfiguring a range of networked learning futures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Networked Learning
Subtitle of host publicationIndividual, Sociological and Design Perspectives
EditorsNina Bonderup Dohn, Jimmy Jaldemark, Lena-Maria Öberg, Marcia Håkonsson Lindqvist, Thomas Ryberg, Maarten de Laat
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783031427183
ISBN (Print)9783031427176, 9783031427206
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2023

Publication series

NameResearch in Networked Learning (RINL)
ISSN (Print)2570-4524
ISSN (Electronic)2570-4532

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • surveillance
  • higher education
  • speculative methods
  • co-design
  • storytelling
  • datafication
  • participatory speculative fiction


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