UW-Madison students enrolled in data monitoring experiment without ability to opt out

Cormac LaLiberte:

Thousands of students and instructors were informed by email earlier this month that they or at least one student in their course had been enrolled in a data monitoring experiment without the ability to opt out.

The pilot program, Learner Activity View for Advisors (LAVA), notifies advisors of potential patterns of low academic performance. Instructors and students are not allowed to opt out of the program, Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning John Zumbrunnen wrote in an email obtained by The Daily Cardinal.

Approximately 2,800 students are enrolled in the program, according to Zumbrunnen’s email. 

The two indicators of potential academic problems are if a student’s grades are in the bottom quartile of the class or if they have an assignment more than five days overdue. A student must have one of these outcomes in two or more classes for it to be flagged by LAVA.