Dashboard Literacy: Understanding Students’ Response to Learning Analytic Dashboards

Part of the Research in Networked Learning book series (RINL)


This chapter is concerned to understand the ways that students interpret and respond to data about their progress presented to them via a dashboard. It is based on a small-scale study, funded by Society for Research in Higher Education, which involved semi-structured interviews with 24 final-year undergraduate students in a single faculty in a UK University. Sutton’s (Innov Educ Teach Int, 49(1), 31–40, 2012) three pillars of feedback literacy: knowing, becoming and acting were employed to understand the students’ responses. The chapter identifies students’ engagement with dashboards as a feedback practice rather than a technical skill or understanding, and considers how this feedback has an impact on their identity into a sense of being, and is individually experienced and constructed. It also illustrates how students’ engagement with dashboards is highly individual and dependent on their personal disposition and orientation to learning. The chapter argues that dashboards need to be treated cautiously recognising the power that these tools have to impact on students’ well-being alongside their potential to support student motivation and positive learning behaviours. Hence, we suggest that institutions need to work with students to develop their personal and reflective processes to enhance the way that they interpret dashboard feedback.


Dashboard Learning behaviours Motivation Peer comparison Learning analytics Feedback literacy 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK

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