As Big Data becomes ever present in many industries, in education it presents a particularly interesting problem as many technologies begin to develop, data standards become variant. This raises the issue that ad-hoc data standards present discontinuity across platforms particularly in the analysis and interpretation of data collected in Personalised Learning Environments. This presents an ethical dilemma when this data becomes actionable and active in decision making regarding a learners’ progress and advancement. This article asserts that there exists a hypothetical dilemma in the predicament that ad-hoc data standards result in potentially misleading or erroneous interpretations that have longitudinal effects for learners. This also raises other ethical implications for who has access to such data and at what level should access be granted. This article postulates that it is important therefore for educational technologies should maintain a common, or single, data standard where uniformity and commonality of understanding between variables can be determined mitigating variance through misinterpretation. Finally, contemporary technologies such as Experience API are discussed that endeavour to address concerns relating to a single data standard and its relationship to Activity Theory and by extension pedagogy. This article’s primary focus is to bring to light the necessity for diligence when developing data-driven educational technologies and the potential issues for the system itself. There will also be implications for the educator’s usage of informed intervention and the longitudinal effects on the learner.


Big Data, Learning Management System, Experience API, Data Standards, Activity Theory, Personalised Learning Environment



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