Beyond the Learning Analytics dashboard: alternative ways to communicate student data insights combining visualisation, narrative and storytelling

Gloria Milena Fernandez Nieto, Kirsty Kitto, Simon Buckingham Shum, Roberto Martinez-Maldonado

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Learning Analytics (LA) dashboards have become a popular medium for communicating to teachers analytical insights obtained from student data. However, recent research indicates that LA dashboards can be complex to interpret, are often not grounded in educational theory, and frequently provide little or no guidance on how to interpret them. Despite these acknowledged problems, few suggestions have been made as to how we might improve the visual design of LA tools to support richer and alternative ways to communicate student data insights. In this paper, we explore three design alternatives to represent student multimodal data insights by combining data visualisation, narratives and storytelling principles. Based on foundations in data storytelling, three visual-narrative interfaces were designed with teachers: i) visual data slices, ii) a tabular visualisation, and iii) a written report. These were validated as a part of an authentic study where teachers explored activity logs and physiological data from co-located collaborative learning classes in the context of healthcare education. Results suggest that alternatives to LA dashboards can be considered as effective tools to support teachers' reflection, and that LA designers should identify the representation type that best fits teachers' needs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLAK 2022 Conference Proceedings
EditorsHassan Khosravi, Abhinava Barthakur
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450395731
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2022 - Online, United States of America
Duration: 21 Mar 202225 Mar 2022
Conference number: 12th (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleLAK22
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • multimodal data
  • qualitative analysis
  • visual learning analytics

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