New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Took a Closer Look at Progress Made in Sharing Educational Data Without Losing Privacy. An Italian Case Study.

Anna Siri, University of Genoa (Italy)

Luca Oneto, University of Genoa (Italy)

Davide Anguita, University of Genoa (Italy)


Having complete datasets about current university students, previous school careers, course offerings, teaching quality, and so on is a key factor in evaluating the success of the Bologna Process reforms in national contexts. It is therefore not surprising that universities and public institutions invested significant efforts into development of high-level tools to help them monitor and measure their performance, and provide feedback. However, a related problem is the underutilisation rate of the large volume of available data. The barriers to access range from administrative obstacles to legal and privacy concerns that produce serious impediments for sharing of information and knowledge, as it clearly emerges from the recent regulation of the European Union with the so-called "European data protection Package" (EU Regulation 2016/679) and the national guidelines for the enhancement of public information. So, the opportunities to find new uses for data are not fully exploited. The paper debates these issues in the Italian context, focusing on differential privacy, a technique to exploit the wealth of information respecting the protection of personal data. The challenge is to discuss techniques capable of using available data sources in order to answer complex questions while ensuring the privacy of individuals.

Keywords: Privacy preservation; differential privacy; quality assurance; educational data;

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