Unequal stakeholder engagement is a common pitfall of adoption approaches of learning analytics in higher education leading to lower buy-in and flawed tools that fail to meet the needs of their target groups. With each design decision, we make assumptions on how learners will make sense of the visualisations, but we know very little about how students make sense of dashboard and which aspects influence their sense-making. We investigated how learner goals and self-regulated learning (SRL) skills influence dashboard sense-making following a mixed-methods research methodology: a qualitative pre-study followed-up with an extensive quantitative study with 247 university students. We uncovered three latent variables for sense-making: transparency of design, reference frames and support for action. SRL skills are predictors for how relevant students find these constructs. Learner goals have a significant effect only on the perceived relevance of reference frames. Knowing which factors influence students’ sense-making will lead to more inclusive and flexible designs that will cater to the needs of both novice and expert learners.

Jivet, I., Scheffel, M.,  Schmitz, M.,  Robbers, S., Specht, M., and Drachsler, H. (2020). “From students with love: An empirical study on learner goals, self-regulated learning and sense-making of learning analytics in higher education,” Internet High. Educ., p. 100758. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2020.1007