Student-facing Learning Analytics Dashboard: Profiles of Student Use

Jesse Eickholt, Jennifer L. Weible, Stephanie D. Teasley

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


Student-facing learning analytics dashboards (LADs) provide visualizations of course-related information to help students understand and personalize their educational practices. As such, they can be viewed as a meta-cognitive tool that enables awareness, self-reflection and sensemaking of academic performance. While student-facing LADs are becoming a standard feature in educational software, questions have been raised about students' willingness to adopt LADs and their ability to interpret feedback provided by student-facing LADs. The extent to which student-facing LADs can broadly improve educational outcomes depends, in part, on students' ability to readily incorporate LAD usage in their educational workflows.This study investigates the use of a student-facing LAD, My Learning Analytics (MyLA), over the span of one semester in a university introductory science course. MyLA draws data from the campus learning management system (Canvas) and displays three visualizations designed to provide students with actionable information. Adoption and use of MyLA was voluntary. As an exploratory study of MyLA's use in an introductory science course, this work addresses three research questions: i) What are the characteristics of students that use MyLA?, ii) How do students make use of MyLA in their coursework?, and iii) What patterns of use are exhibited by more frequent MyLA users? The results indicate that given the opportunity to use a student-facing LAD, 33% of students made repeated use of the tool. Demographic data (e.g., gender, domestic/international student) did not predict MyLA usage but significant differences in mean cumulative GPA were found between non-MyLA users and MyLA users. Broad patterns of MyLA use were aligned with major assessments in the course (e.g., MyLA was used more often around exam dates) and the grade distribution view was the most commonly accessed. Among the most highly active MyLA users, two distinct profiles were identified: aware and sensemakers. Aware users made use of the dashboard on more than 12 distinct days across the course, primarily around exam dates, and stated that they accessed the dashboard to compare their performance with others. Sensemakers made frequent use of all three MyLA views multiple times over the semester to monitor their own progress, compare their grades to others, and check what materials other students had viewed.LADs such as MyLA allow students to leverage what they already know about course assessment in their interpretation of the data presented, easing adoption and deployment of a student-facing LAD in higher education. As MyLA does not require that students have any additional training to interpret the visualizations they provide, LADs can readily be employed by students in introductory computing and engineering courses to provide them with feedback to help them plan for, monitor, and evaluate their academic progress.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2022
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665462440
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2022 - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: Oct 8 2022Oct 11 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference2022 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2022


  • course level micro-learning analytics
  • learning analytics dashboard
  • self-regulated learning
  • student-facing learning analytics dashboard


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