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We are very pleased to have Dr. Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson present as part of our “Transforming Learning and Teaching with Practical Analytics” project. Dr Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson is Course Coordinator of the Master of Data Science and ITheresa Andersonnnovation in the Connected Intelligence Centre of the University of Technology Sydney.  In her teaching and her research, Theresa engages with the ever- evolving relationship between people and emerging technologies, conceptually engaging with notions of risk, uncertainty and creativity. As an information ethicist, she is particularly interested in the interaction between creative and analytic thinking and doing and in examining ways information systems and institutional policies might better support both creative and analytic activities. At UTS, Theresa designs and delivers courses in the new Master of Data Science & Innovation, and specialist subjects about online learning communities and the design of eLearning curriculum.

Distributed, cloud-based networks and the boundary-blurring capacities of digital convergence marked the beginning of a transition to genuine distributed, complex, evolving infrastructure (Edwards et al., 2009: 365-6). In these dynamic, hyper-coordinated spaces, people create, curate and use information in evolving and often unexpected ways. These data-intensive environments compel us to address the challenges and complexities raised in studies of cyberinfrastructure (Bowker et al, 2010), including ethical considerations about the capacity for individuals to resist machine-generated classifications and characterizations or offer alternative interpretations (boyd & Crawford, 2012; Ratto, 2007).

Structures associated with the ubiquitous technologies that often grab the spotlight rarely lend themselves to deliberate design and yet, ironically, as they become more naturalized and more invisible, their configuration can become more frozen. Thus, as boyd & Crawford (2012: 666) alert us: “We must ask difficult questions of Big Data’s models of intelligibility before they crystallize into new orthodoxies.”

One particularly strong theme emerging relates to the capacity for humans and machines in these infrastructures to learn and to respond to inevitable changes they will encounter. In addition to moral concerns flagged in Edwards et al. (2009) and Ratto (2007), for instance, questions of speed arise in relation to the time available for personal and communal knowledge production and acquisition in increasingly hyper-coordinated information spaces (Anderson, 2011, Hunsinger, 2013).  To survive and thrive in these fast-paced, data-rich networks, we must learn how to learn (Deakin Crick, 2007).

This session will engage participants interested in human-centered design in relation to big data and learning analytics. In response to the concerns raised by Edwards et al. (2009) to articulate concerns that can traverse the social and computational sciences, the session design is intended to identify ways to move forward as a community and as professionals.

When: Tuesday 20th October, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Where: Building 80, level 4, room 19

Academics, professional staff and students are all invited to attend.
The presentation is free. To register go to here.

To find out more information please contact: peter.saunders@rmit.edu.au 

If you would like to prepare for the session, participants are encouraged to click here.


Anderson, T.D. (2011). Beyond eureka moments: supporting the invisible work of creativity and innovation. Information Research, 16(1) paper 471. Available: http://InformationR.net/ir/16-1/paper471.html

boyd, d., & Crawford, K. (2012). Critical questions for big data: Provocations for a cultural, technological, and scholarly phenomenon. Information, Communication & Society, 15(5), 662-679.

Bowker, G. C., Baker, K., Millerand, F., & Ribes, D. (2010). Toward information infrastructure studies: Ways of knowing in a networked environment. In J. Hunsinger, L. Klastrup, & M. Allen (Eds.), International handbook of internet research (pp. 97-117). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Brown, J., & Isaacs, D. (2005). The world café: Shaping our futures through conversations that matter. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Deakin Crick, R. (2007). Learning how to learn: The dynamic assessment of learning power. The Curriculum Journal, 18(2), 135-153.

Edwards, P. N., Bowker, G. C., Jackson, S. J., & Williams, R. (2009). Introduction: an agenda for infrastructure studies. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 10(5), 364-374.

Gray, D., Brown, S., & Macanufo, J. (2010). Gamestorming: A playbook for innovators, rulebreakers, and changemakers. Sabastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Hunsinger, Jeremy (2013). Against speed cosmopolitanism towards the slow university. Fast Capitalism, 10.1, http://www.uta.edu/huma/agger/fastcapitalism/10_1/home.html.

Hunsinger, J. (2009). Introducing learning infrastructures: invisibility, context, and governance. Learning Inquiry, 3(3), 111-114.

Long, P & Siemens, G. 2011 “Penetrating the fog: Analytics in learning and education.” Educause Review 46.5 (2011): 30-32.

Ratto, M. (2007). Ethics of seamless infrastructures: Resources and future directions. International Review of Information Ethics, 8 (12), 20-27.