From Utopia Through Dystopia: Charting a Course for Learning Analytics in Competency-Based Medical Education
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The transition to the assessment of entrustable professional activities as part of competency-based medical education (CBME) has substantially increased the number of assessments completed on each trainee. Many CBME programs are having difficulty synthesizing the increased amount of assessment data. Learning analytics are a way of addressing this by systematically drawing inferences from large datasets to support trainee learning, faculty development, and program evaluation. Early work in this field has tended to emphasize the significant potential of analytics in medical education. However, concerns have been raised regarding data security, data ownership, validity, and other issues that could transform these dreams into nightmares. In this paper, the authors explore these contrasting perspectives by alternately describing utopian and dystopian futures for learning analytics within CBME. Seeing learning analytics as an important way to maximize the value of CBME assessment data for organizational development, they argue that their implementation should continue within the guidance of an ethical framework.
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