Supporting Student Agency with a Student-Facing Learning Analytics Dashboard
Perceptions of an Interdisciplinary Development Team
Keywords:interdisciplinary development work, student agency, student-facing dashboard, ethics, research paper
Learning analytics dashboard (LAD) development has been criticized for being too data-driven and for developers lacking an understanding of the nontechnical aspects of learning analytics (LA). The ability of developers to address their understanding of learners as well as systematic efforts to involve students in the development process are central to creating pedagogically grounded student-facing dashboards. However, limited research is available about developer perceptions on supporting students with LA. We examined an interdisciplinary LA development team’s (IDT) perceptions of and intentions to support student agency, and the student-facing LAD development process. Qualitative content analysis supported by a social cognitive theory framework was conducted on interviews (N = 12) to analyze the IDT’s perceptions of student agency. IDT members had differing conceptions of student agency but agreed that it manifests in strategic study progression and planning, as well as in active interpretation and use of LA-based feedback. IDT members had differing views on student involvement in the LAD development process. Communication challenges within an IDT and limited resources were mentioned, impeding development work. The results of this study highlight the importance of fostering communication among IDT members about guiding pedagogical design principles and the systematic use of educational concepts in LA development processes.
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