Mercedes Horner's doctoral research examines bias in the design process of EdTech algorithms and data capture in UK higher education.
Mercedes Horner is a student on the DPhil in Information, Communication & the Social Sciences.
Mercedes Horner is a doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute. As a digital sociologist, her research examines the design process of educational technologies (EdTech) in UK higher education with an interest in bias and ethics. She approaches EdTech at the intersection of people and technology – a network unavoidably embedded with bias. Her work investigates EdTech algorithms as socio-technical assemblages shaped by social, cultural, and historical practices. As a qualitative researcher, she employs ethnographic methods to discover and map how bias is introduced into EdTech through its design and production. Her work is informed by digital sociology, critical algorithm studies, science and technology studies, and communications.
Prior to joining the OII, Mercedes earned a MSc in Digital Society from the University of Edinburgh. She received a distinction for her dissertation which examined data mining and dataveillance of students in UK higher education, emphasising a lack of informed student consent regarding university mandated usage of EdTech. She holds a combined BA in Communication & Media Studies and Comparative Literary & Cultural Studies from Franklin University Switzerland.