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ERIC Number: EJ1169529
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1539-1523
Examining the Relationship between Comparative and Self-Focused Academic Data Visualizations in At-Risk College Students' Academic Motivation
Aguilar, Stephen J.
Journal of Research on Technology in Education, v50 n1 p84-103 2018
This qualitative study focuses on capturing students' understanding two visualizations often utilized by learning analytics-based educational technologies: bar graphs, and line graphs. It is framed by Achievement Goal Theory--a prominent theory of students' academic motivation--and utilizes interviews (n = 60) to investigate how students at risk of college failure interpret visualizations of their potential academic achievement. Findings suggest that visualizations only containing information about students themselves (i.e., self-focused affordances) evoked statements centered on mastering material. Visualizations containing information about students and a class average (i.e., comparative information), on the other hand, evoked responses that disheartened students and/or made them feel accountable to do better. Findings from this study suggest the following guidelines for designing visualizations for learning analytics-based educational technologies: (1) Never assume that more information is better; (2) anticipate and mitigate against potential misinterpretations--or harmful alternative interpretations--of visualizations; and (3) always suggest a way for students to improve. These guidelines help mitigate against potential unintended consequences to motivation introduced by visualizations used in learning analytics-based educational technologies.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A