Modelling spatial behaviours in clinical team simulations using Epistemic Network Analysis: methodology and teacher evaluation

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

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

14 Citations (Scopus)


In nursing education through team simulations, students must learn to position themselves correctly in coordination with colleagues. However, with multiple student teams in action, it is difficult for teachers to give detailed, timely feedback on these spatial behaviours to each team. Indoor-positioning technologies can now capture student spatial behaviours, but relatively little work has focused on giving meaning to student activity traces, transforming low-level x/y coordinates into language that makes sense to teachers. Even less research has investigated if teachers can make sense of that feedback. This paper therefore makes two contributions. (1) Methodologically, we document the use of Epistemic Network Analysis (ENA) as an approach to model and visualise students' movements. To our knowledge, this is the first application of ENA to analyse human movement. (2) We evaluated teachers' responses to ENA diagrams through qualitative analysis of video-recorded sessions. Teachers constructed consistent narratives about ENA diagrams' meaning, and valued the new insights ENA offered. However, ENA's abstract visualisation of spatial behaviours was not intuitive, and caused some confusions. We propose, therefore, that the power of ENA modelling can be combined with other spatial representations such as a classroom map, by overlaying annotations to create a more intuitive user experience.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLAK21 Conference Proceedings - The Impact we Make: The contributions of learning analytics to learning
Subtitle of host publicationThe Eleventh International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge
EditorsMaren Scheffel, Nia Dowell, Srecko Joksimovic, George Siemens
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450389358
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2021 - Online, Irvine, United States of America
Duration: 12 Apr 202116 Apr 2021
Conference number: 11th (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleLAK 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • Epistemic network analysis
  • Nursing
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Simulation
  • Spatial behaviour

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