Widget, Widget on the Wall, Am I Performing Well at All?

Maren Scheffel*, Hendrik Drachsler, Joop de Kraker, Karel Kreijns, Aad Slootmaker, Marcus Specht

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    12 Citations (Web of Science)


    In collaborative learning environments, students work together on assignments in virtual teams and depend on each other's contribution to achieve their learning objectives. The online learning environment, however, may not only facilitate but also hamper group communication, coordination, and collaboration. Group awareness widgets that visualize information about the different group members based on information collected from the individuals can foster awareness and reflection processes within the group. In this paper, we present a formative data study about the predictive power of several indicators of an awareness widget based on automatically logged user data from an online learning environment. In order to test whether the information visualized by the widget is in line with the study outcomes, we instantiated the widget indicators with data from four previous runs of the European Virtual Seminar on Sustainable Development (EVS). We analyzed whether the tutor gradings in these previous years correlated with the students' scores calculated for the widget indicators. Furthermore, we tested the predictive power of the widget indicators at various points in time with respect to the final grades of the students. The results of our analysis show that the grades and widget indicator scores are significantly and positively correlated, which provides a useful empirical basis for the development of guidelines for students and tutors on how to interpret the widget's visualizations in live runs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)42-52
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Learning analytics
    • visualization
    • group awareness
    • correlation analysis
    • regression analysis

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