Same graph, different data: A usability study of a student-facing dashboard based on self-regulated learning theory


  • Paula De Barba The University of Melbourne
  • Eduardo Araujo Oliveira The University of Melbourne
  • Xinyue Hu The University of Melbourne



dashboard, motivation, visualisation, self-regulated learning


Student-facing learning analytics dashboards have the potential to reconnect students with their purpose for learning, reminding them of their goals and promoting reflection about their learning journey. However, far less is known about the specifics of the relationship between different types of visualisations and data presented in dashboards and their impact on students’ motivation. In this study, we used a Human-Centred Design method across three iterations to (1) understand how students prioritise similar visualisations when presenting different data (2) examine how they interact with these, and (3) propose a dashboard design that would accommodate students’ different motivational needs. In the first iteration, 26 participants ranked their preferred visualisations using paper prototypes; in the second iteration, a digital wireframe was created based on the results from the first iteration to conduct user tests with two participants; and in the third iteration, a high-fidelity prototype was created to reflect findings from the previous iterations. Overall, findings showed that students mostly valued setting goals and monitoring their progress from a multiple goals approach, and were reluctant about comparing their performance with peers due to concerns related to promoting unproductive competition amongst peers and data privacy. Implications for educators and learning designers are discussed.