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Speculative social science fiction of digitalization in higher education: Towards a humanized digital future

Tampere University
Duration of project1.9.2021–30.8.2025
Area of focusSociety, Technology

Digitalization is reshaping roles and practices in higher education (HE). HE is becoming increasingly digital and data-driven.

In these future scenarios, datafication, big data, learning analytics, and artificial intelligence promise more efficient and predictable HE. The visions and practices of data-driven education tend to reduce teachers in HE merely as objects of digitalization, rather than active subjects participating in the shaping of digital futures.

This research project explores the perspectives and trajectories of teachers in HE and fosters awareness of their educational experiences and practical creativity and innovation in their reflective practices. Also, it envisions possible digital futures in teaching and learning in HE and conceptualizes a humanized digital future in HE. Furthermore, the project explores and develops innovative methodologies to reimagine digital education and a more humanized and emancipatory educational data science development.

The project applies a methodology of institutional ethnography and narrative speculative social science fiction. The project makes a unique contribution to the highly topical research area of data-driven education with an emancipatory approach that explores teachers’ perspectives of datafication.

The project is funded by the Academy of Finland.