CALL FOR PROJECT PROPOSALS – Learning, Skills and Social Justice – NEW DEADLINE: Friday 10th APRIL, 2020

To guide this call, we ran a focused workshop on the 7th February 2020 and our participants developed a set of core themes. Please note – you do not have to have attended the workshop to submit to this call. 

In this theme we ask – how do we support and empower all aspects of society to function in a world where almost every aspect of our lives results in data trails? 

    1. EdTech and learner surveillance: This theme speaks specifically to both the raft of educational technologies already employed to track learners and those technologies that might be employed to counter such systems. Questions over the tensions between data protection law and data-driven practice within educational and research institutions is of particular interest.Key stakeholders are not only learners, but also teachers, other educational professionals and those at the institutional level.  Core concepts related to this theme are control of personal data and control of the learning experience. This might include (a) how we deal with meaningful learner opt-out, (b) exploration and avoidance of inverse privacy harms, (c) access and inclusion, and (d) explorations of power structures.
    2. Democratisation of learner/user data: This theme places the learner at the centre of the data ecosystem and asks questions specific to the psychology underpinning systems design and the learning environment, the role of the learner in production of content and how such data ecosystems should be governed and regulated. Diversity and intersectionality were also raised as core, and often overlooked, aspects of the learner experience.

This might include (a) user-led creative design of novel data-driven learning experiences (b) conceptual and philosophical challenges to current approaches and ideologies (c) skills for life/work that combat ‘learned helplessness’ (d) meaningful/novel approaches to surfacing data structures in ways that reflect learner cognition and abilities, and (e) challenges to existing regulatory and governance structures.

    1. Power, data experiences and agency: This theme looks at the role of dialogue, deliberative action and creative practice in connecting learners/users with their data. The core focus here is on marginal groups and addressing disenfranchisement through direct means.This might include (a) exploration of distributive/collective models such as data trusts, (b) challenging/surfacing power structures/intentions of data-controllers, (c) development of engagement mechanisms to support data-citizens, (d) the role of artistic engagement developing the tenets of HDI (agency, legibility, negotiability), (e) the application of data rituals, fictions and futures.

How can the concept of Human Data Interaction help us improve or adapt the ways that people learn about data-driven systems’ functions, benefits and risks? This theme will look at the skills, education and training required to deal with a data-driven world, and especially, how they might interface with HDI’s tenets of Legibility, Agency and Negotiability?

Please note:


If you are considering submitting a project to the Future of Skills, Learning and Social Justice Call, please do bear in mind the current situation and what challenges it will pose for the way you do research. Please try to consider this now, though we imagine the current situation will not be far from your minds.

If you are planning interviews, focus groups design sessions and the like please remember that they will be have to be done virtually in the short term, and that this might have to be a ‘plan B’ if this situation lasts longer than we hope. We do not know how long this is going to go on, but we do not wish your project to be a hostage to fortune.

Helpful links:

NEW DEADLINE – Friday 10th APRIL, 23.59 hours.

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