Degree pictures: Visualizing the university student journey

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The field of learning analytics is progressing at a rapid rate. New tools, with ever-increasing number of features and a plethora of datasets that are increasingly utilized demonstrate the evolution and multifaceted nature of the field. In particular, the depth and scope of insight that can be gleaned from analysing related datasets can have a significant, and positive, effect in educational practices. We introduce the concept of degree pictures, a symbolic overview of students’ achievement. Degree pictures are small visualizations that depict graphically 16 categories of overall student achievement, over the duration of a higher education course. They offer a quick summary of students’ achievement and are intended to initiate appropriate responses, such as teaching and pastoral interventions. This can address the subjective nature of assessment, by providing a method for educators to calibrate their own marking practices by showing an overview of any cohort. We present a prototype implementation of degree pictures, which was evaluated within our School of Computer Science, with favourable results.


  • learning analytics, learning gain, student progression, visualization
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-578
JournalAssessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number4
Early online date24 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2020

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