LASI 2014 Workshop (Monday)

Data visualization and learning analytics, pt 1

Bring Your Own Idea - Visual Learning Analytics

Joris Klerkx, , KU Leuven

Sven Charleer, , KU Leuven

Erik Duval, , KU Leuven (remote)

Keywords: information visualisation; learning analytics; human-computer interaction; Sketching; ideation

Abstract: The use of visualization techniques for learning is not new. They have been used in for instance maps and drawings for thousands of years. In learning analytics, visualisation can help teachers and learners to make sense of the data. This workshop will help participants to understand the potential of visualisation on the full range from small wearable devices to large tabletops or public displays.

We will start with a quick overview of how various visualization techniques can be used to support learning analytics and discuss some of the psychological concepts (i.e. gestalt) related to how people understand visualisations.

Participants will work in small groups to develop ideas on how to use visualisation for their own context. These ideas will be grounded on theoretical frameworks that the participants select. The result will be a series of sketches for learning analytics data applications.

Furthermore, we will present common pitfalls, tips and tricks to create proper information visualisations. We will illustrate this with example tools and visualizations used in various domains.

Participants will then re-visit their sketched ideas and iterate over them. The workshop will conclude with a short discussion to consolidate the opportunities and problems in research on visualization for learning analytics and TEL.


Participants will take away:

  • added value of visualizations (communicating data, story-telling, facilitating human interaction for exploration and understanding, empowering users to make informed decisions, etc)
  • foundational facts & (psychological) theory about information visualisation
  • understanding of the various steps in a visualisation process (i.e. visualisation pipeline)




Dr. Joris Klerkx is a research expert at the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab in the Computer Science department of the KU Leuven – University of Leuven, Belgium. His research interests include learning analytics, data visualisation, infographics, user experience design, and their applications in the fields of technology enhanced learning, science 2.0, music and health. In that sense, Joris has contributed to several European research projects such as MACE, ASPECT, ICOPER, and STELLAR. Joris is currently involved in the INTERREG IVa project EMuRgency on increasing awareness about the problem of cardiac arrest, the FP7 project weSPOT on inquiry based learning, the IWT-SBO project PARIS on personalized advertisements, and the MIX-ICON project on interactive data-driven journalism.

Sven Charleer is a PhD student at the Human-Computer Interaction group, Department of Computer science, where he focusses on visualising learning analytics data to create useful dashboards for both teachers and more importantly students. His interests cover both the Quantified Self approach, using learner traces to create personal dashboards on e.g. mobile phones to support awareness and reflection, as well as creating collaboration environments through interactive visualisations on tabletops and large displays. In 2003, Sven obtained his Master’s degree in Computer Science at KU Leuven. He has since been responsible for both the design and development of many projects at multiple European companies, including an international HR Service Center Management system (NorthgateArinso) and the GUI of the video game MotoGP 09/10 (Xbox 360/PlayStation 3). During his PhD, he contributes to the European FP7 – weSPOT project as technical partner/lead.

Erik Duval chairs the Human-Computer Interaction research unit at the computer science department of the University of Leuven, Belgium. Erik’s research focuses on open learninginformation visualization and personal informatics. His group typically applies research results to technology-enhanced learning, access to music, ’research2.0’ and personal health. Erik’s current research obsession is massive hyper-personalization (The Snowflake Effect) and learning analytics.


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