Aim: digital education that understands data, data skills and the data society.


  • Taking a research-led approach to education and data.
  • Understanding the possibilities and problems surrounding the datafication of education.
  • Addressing automation with an emphasis on human skills.
  • Engaging creatively and responsibly with learning data.

Short- to medium-term actions

  • Balance development of data skills with other human capacities for wellbeing and employability in a future of automated work, by building cross-university courses to develop student creativity, criticality, problem-solving and collaboration.
  • Establish Edinburgh as a world-leading centre
    for research in interdisciplinary, data-informed education in key areas such as educational data ethics and data-driven policymaking in education.
  • Use our research expertise in data to build an ethical, responsible near future for our teaching and to improve student experience.
  • Create specialist academic development opportunities for staff to fully understand how to analyse and interpret learning and engagement analytics, with an understanding that the datafication of teaching is likely to accelerate and intensify in the coming decades.
  • Embed critical understanding of data ethics and algorithmic accountability within academic development and staff training.
  • Support cross-university programmes of work to provide data skills training for staff and students.
  • Seek mechanisms for embedding students in ‘data work’ via digital apprenticeships, internships and employment experiences.
  • Develop new, engaging ways for students to work creatively with their own learning data to understand issues around its use and ownership.
  • Instigate an academic-led programme to scope ways in which transparent, fair, context-sensitive artificial intelligence applications and services could assist and support human-driven teaching.
  • Establish a cross-institutional, student-led programme of work to develop creative, responsible designs for a ‘smart’ campus.