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Supporting And Humanising Behavioural Change without the Behaviourism: Digital Footprints, Learning Analytics and Nudges

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Human Data Interaction, Disadvantage and Skills in the Community


This chapter incorporates and expands on published conversations started by Professor Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, Professor Sarah Hayes (and colleagues), Professor Siân Bayne (and colleagues), Professor Paul Prinsloo and Dr Sharon Slade, and others whose work addresses learning analytics, nudge theory, or equity. We have applied these concepts to empower students in understanding their digital footprints and making explicit the hidden curriculum in online Higher Education and the potential pitfalls of data-driven pedagogy. It is through dialogue, allyship, and co-authorship that Kennedy and Payne recognise the shared experiences through their identities and place within the academy - Kennedy: a disabled undergraduate student - an under-served cohort in HE, and Payne: under-served in the academy given her identity as a Black woman and early career educator and researcher. It is through our collaboration with senior academic, Martin Compton, and acknowledging our positionalities and solidarity, we advocate for a tenet of ‘equity’ to be included within the Human-Data Interaction (HDI) framework, linked to disability, race, or any marginalisation of the experiences of individuals through data-driven systems and analytics. We hope to forge further alliances that allow for the mutual articulation of how HDI can be deployed to empower both students and instructors and drive equity-minded and responsive pedagogy.

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  1. 1.

    In this article, we use identity-first language, as opposed to person-first language. Co-author Kennedy identifies as disabled and uses identity-first language for themselves.

  2. 2.

    Corporal punishment was banned in the UK in 1986 and across Australian states over the last four decades but is still legal in some US states as it is in more than 150 countries in the world.


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Correspondence to Ameena L. Payne .

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Appendix 1. Personalised orienting nudge presenting choice to withdraw from unit

A screenshot of an email.

Appendix 2. Nudge email for non-engaged students

A screenshot of a mail sent from Ameena Payne to Ameena Payne with the subject, the secret of getting ahead is getting started E D U 1 0 0 2 4 academic skills for success.

Appendix 3. Nudge for not yet submitted assignment

A screen shot of an email.

Appendix 4. Positive impact of supportive nudges

A screenshot of an email.

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© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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Payne, A.L., Compton, M., Kennedy, S. (2023). Supporting And Humanising Behavioural Change without the Behaviourism: Digital Footprints, Learning Analytics and Nudges. In: Hayes, S., Jopling, M., Connor, S., Johnson, M. (eds) Human Data Interaction, Disadvantage and Skills in the Community. Postdigital Science and Education . Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-31874-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-31875-7

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