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  • Special Section: Learning Analytics: Intelligent Decision Support Systems for Learning Environments
  • Open Access

Temporal learning analytics visualizations for increasing awareness during assessment

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201512:12030129

  • Received: 15 February 2015
  • Accepted: 15 May 2015
  • Published:


Visual representations of student-generated trace data during learning activities help both students and instructors interpret them intuitively and perceive hidden aspects of these data quickly. In this paper, we elaborate on the visualization of temporal trace data during assessment. The goals of the study were twofold: a) to depict students’ engagement in the assessment procedure in terms of time spent and temporal factors associated with learning-specific characteristics, and b) to explore the factors that influence the teachers’ Behavioural Intention to use the proposed system as an information system and their perceptions of the effectiveness and acceptance of our approach. The proposed visualizations have been explored in a study with 32 Secondary Education teachers. We adopted a design-based research methodology and employed a survey instrument — based on the Learning Analytics Acceptance Model (LAAM) — in order to measure the expected impact of the proposed visualizations. The analysis of the findings indicates that a) temporal factors can be used for visualizing students’ behaviour during assessment, and b) the visualization of the temporal dimension of students’ behaviour increases teachers’ awareness of students’ progress, possible misconceptions (e.g., guessing the correct answer) and task difficulty.


  • temporal learning analytics
  • visualizations
  • awareness
  • monitoring
  • assessment
  • acceptance