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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: Education, Personalisation and Surveillance (fusion online) (EFIE11067)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course enables students to critically examine the origins and effects of personalisation and surveillance in education. It will enable students to develop creative, collaborative and research-informed alternative visions for the future uses of digital technologies and data in education.
Course description 'Education, Personalisation and Surveillance' explores profound changes in education systems and teaching and learning practices associated with data-driven and AI-based technologies, from formal settings to professional learning contexts and non-formal sites of learning. The course is interdisciplinary, critical, collaborative and creative in approach, drawing on social science, literary and design-based approaches.

Students on the course will experience hands-on social science research, media-rich fusion teaching environments, collaborative design, and engagement with relevant literary texts, building towards the production of a group research presentation and an individual 'social science fiction' demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of the implications of personalisation and surveillance for education in the future.

The course is organized as an intensive teaching model. Activities prior to intensive week include 2x scheduled online lectures (0.5hrs) (delivered live and recorded), 2x scheduled synchronous videoconference seminars (1hr), assigned reading, and asynchronous discussion forum. During the intensive week, students will experience 2-days of hybrid on-campus/online teaching:

Day One
- Short, live and recorded lecture by course leader introducing key themes and purposes of intensive activities.
- Seminar (facilitated on-campus and online) focused on critically examining educational technologies.
- Facilitated collaborative research activity, with on-campus and online students organised in small working groups to critically examine an educational technology (groups and topics specified in advance during pre-intensive phase).

Day Two
- Joint development of research presentation based on collaborative research project from day one, with all presentations (online and on-campus) recorded and captured for formative assessment and asynchronous peer feedback.
- Seminar session to highlight overall issues arising from technologies of personalisation and surveillance, with collaborative development of alternative proposals and designs.
- Lecture and creative workshop on writing research-based 'social science fiction', leading to post-intensive individual activity.

Post-intensive activities include scheduled 1x seminar (1hr), group task, independent study, creative textual production of individual social science fiction texts, asynchronous online discussion, and peer feedback.

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  6
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 2, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 12, Online Activities 10, Other Study Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 6
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment:

The course will be assessed by means of the following component:

1) 'Social Science Fiction' / Reflective Commentary (100%)

An individual written 'social science fiction' (1000 words) with reflective commentary and annotations (1000 words) detailing how the research phase of the course has contributed to the construction of the text.

Draft social science fictions will be shared on online learning platform for peer commentary and tutor feedback. Criteria for the assignment will focus on the appropriate use of background research, critical interpretation and demonstrable knowledge and understanding of the key themes and concepts covered in the course, rather than the literary quality of the fiction itself.
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Feedback advice will be provided throughout the course via online learning system. Formative feedback will be provided on the group research assignment presentation and products completed during intensive sessions, through in-person responses from teaching staff and peer feedback, followed by written tutor feedback on the submitted artefact and recording.

Feedforward advice will also be provided on drafts of the summative social science fiction assignment, through the online learning system, by both peers and tutors, as advice for honing the core ideas to ensure they remain research-informed and demonstrate critical interpretation in line with the course themes and concepts.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts and critical understanding of current social and ethical issues related to data-driven personalisation and surveillance technologies in education.
  2. Apply critical analysis and develop original and creative responses to problems and issues related to data-driven personalisation and surveillance technologies in education.
  3. Use a range of ICT applications to communicate with peers and support and enhance the production of critical scholarly work.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:

Andrejevic, M. 2019. Automating surveillance. Surveillance and Society 17(1-2), 7-13.

Beer, D. 2016. Fiction and social theory. Theory, Culture and Society 33(7-8), 409-419.

Bulger, M. 2016. Personalized Learning: The Conversations We're Not Having. Data and Society working paper:

Bullen, E. and Parsons, E. 2007. Dystopian Visions of Global Capitalism: Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines and M.T Anderson's Feed. Children's Literature in Education 38, 127-138.

Decuypere, M., Grimaldi, E. and Landri, P. 2021. Critical studies of digital education platforms. Critical Studies in Education 62(1), 1-16.

Eynon, R. and Young, E. 2021. Methodology, Legend, and Rhetoric: The Constructions of AI by Academia, Industry, and Policy Groups for Lifelong Learning. Science, Technology and Human Values 46(1), 166-191.

Graham, M et al (eds). 2019. How to Run a City like Amazon, and Other Fables. London: Meatspace Press (online, open access).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will support the development of the following graduate attributes:

- Curiosity for learning that makes a positive difference;
- Iindependent research and enquiry;
- Critical and reflective thinking;
- Creativity and inventive thinking;
- Skilled communication.
Course organiserDr Ben Williamson
Tel: (0131 6)51 6176
Course secretaryMiss Abby Gleave
Tel: (0131 6)51 1337
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