Classroom Dandelions: visualising participant position, trajectory and body orientation augments teachers' sensemaking

Gloria Fernandez-Nieto, Pengcheng An, Jian Zhao, Simon Buckingham Shum, Roberto Martinez-Maldonado

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

7 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the digital revolution, physical space remains the site for teaching and learning embodied knowledge and skills. Both teachers and students must develop spatial competencies to effectively use classroom spaces, enabling fluid verbal and non-verbal interaction. While video permits rich activity capture, it provides no support for quickly seeing activity patterns that can assist learning. In contrast, position tracking systems permit the automated modelling of spatial behaviour, opening new possibilities for feedback. This paper introduces the design rationale for "Dandelion Diagrams"that integrate participant location, trajectory and body orientation over a variable period. Applied in two authentic teaching contexts (a science laboratory, and a nursing simulation) we show how heatmaps showing only teacher/student location led to misinterpretations that were resolved by overlaying Dandelion Diagrams. Teachers also identified a variety of ways they could aid professional development. We conclude Dandelion Diagrams assisted sensemaking, but discuss the ethical risks of over-interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
EditorsSteven Drucker, Julie Williamson, Koji Yatani
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781450391573
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2022 - New Orleans, United States of America
Duration: 29 Apr 20225 May 2022
Conference number: 40th (ACM Digital Library - proceedings) (Website) (Extended Abstracts)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2022
Abbreviated titleCHI 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityNew Orleans
Internet address


  • Indoor positioning
  • Learning analytics
  • Multimodal
  • Teaching
  • Teamwork

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