Faculty Use of Learning Analytics Dashboards

Concurrent Session 2
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

While institutions continually increase the amount of large-scale learning data that they collect, many faculty still do not use it to inform course-level interventions and design. Learning analytics dashboards are a common way to present this information and this session explores how institutions could grow the usage of these tools.


Justin T. Dellinger is Associate Director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge (LINK) Research Lab at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is also the project lead for the Digital Learning Research Network (dLRN) and member of Every Learner Everywhere. His primary research investigates the complexities of learning analytics adoption. He currently leads the development of the Learning Analytics MOOC Series in edX and serves as a course instructor in the program. In addition, he has facilitated the Professional Learning Community program at his university with the aim of building community to support the innovation of teaching practice through the use of digital technology, such as implementing open educational resources, using online course tools, and improving course outcomes through the use of learning analytics.
Dr. Karen Vignare is a strategic innovator who has been leveraging emerging technologies to improve access, success and flexibility within higher education for over 20 years. Dr. Karen Vignare currently serves as the Executive Director of the Personalized Learning Consortium at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. The PLC’s mission is to support public universities as they rapidly infuse technology that supports improved student learning, retention and graduation. She has a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University in Computer Technology and Education and a M.B.A from the William Simon Business School at University of Rochester.

Extended Abstract

Over the past decade, institutions of higher education have increased the amount of large-scale learning data that they collect through learning management systems, courseware, and various other systems across campus. However, many faculty still do not use it to inform course-level interventions, pedagogical approaches, and course design for a variety of reasons. These can include access to the data, the ability to conduct appropriate analyses, or having time or incentives to build necessary skills. Learning analytics dashboards are a common means to present student data in a more manageable way, but campuses that invest in these tools still face challenges with uptake among faculty. 

This session explores the opportunities and challenges of using learning analytics dashboards. These challenges and opportunities are often coupled. For example, institutions that grow the usage of these tools can improve student learning outcomes and promote greater equity. Conversely, algorithms that do not fit a context, lack of clarity about the data presented in the dashboards, or cultural considerations around messaging could cause harm. If used well, learning analytics dashboards hold great promise and are worth deeper investigation by faculty, staff, and administrators.

In this interactive session, the presenters will share a synthesis of the literature on learning analytics dashboards, qualitative research conducted at a four-year public institution, and recommendations for successful uptake of the tools. The presenters will invite session attendees to consider and share how these dashboards are/could be used in their context. 

Attendees will leave the session with an understanding of how different learning analytics dashboards work, opportunities for their usage, and challenges around their uptake, along with how they might use them at their institutions.