Anyone who works or studies in a university is likely to encounter a huge range of technologies in the course of their daily activities. These are technologies that help us communicate, collaborate and create, as well as store data, keep track of activities, assess performance, remind us of due dates, check for plagiarism, and more. Many of these technologies offer the capacity for increased surveillance, and some are already being used to monitor and/or quantify some of our activities.
The Data Stories Creator is a scaffolded storytelling tool that uses fiction writing to explore aspects of an interaction with technology, and hopes or concerns it raises, by speculating about what could happen.
The Data Stories tool was built as a WordPress plugin, in collaboration between academic researchers and a web developer, over several months in 2020. An iterative process of building, testing and refining led to a three-part data storytelling tool: prompts; mapping and writing. By working with actions, actors and interactions, learning technologists and others with a stake in how data is used in higher education can articulate concerns and hopes, and think about the future of surveillance and data ethics in a creative way.
In this session, Anna Wilson (University of Stirling) & Jen Ross (University of Edinburgh) will discuss the project and facilitate an interactive prompt/map session to give participants a chance to experience the Data Stories approach and consider its use in their own work with colleagues and students.