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Playing cards that empower teachers and students to join the analytics co-design process

Human-centred software design gives all stakeholders an active voice in the design of the systems that they are expected to use. However, this is not yet commonplace in Learning Analytics. Co-design techniques from other domains have much to offer in principle, but in fact there are few detailed accounts of exactly how well such techniques work for learning analytics.

CIC Doctoral Researcher Carlos Prieto-Alvarez has developed a deck of cards for Learning Analytics design, called LA-DECK. Like a pack of traditional cards, it has different ‘suits’, but for the different kinds of contributions that need to be made when conceiving a new tool. There’s even time and money to ‘spend’ when prioritising ideas. Here are a few examples:


When someone wants to contribute an idea, they choose from their ‘hand’, placing a card on the table, next to another card or drawing connections to build on previous cards, explaining their idea as they do so. This builds a map over time, providing a visual reminder to everyone of their conversation. In his research, Carlos has shown that inviting students, educators, data scientists and programmers to ‘play cards’ like this was regarded as a helpful way to hold a multidisciplinary conversation between very different stakeholders, bringing complementary expertise’s and sometimes conflicting viewpoints (e.g. around issues such as privacy).

Many congratulations to Carlos who has just had a research paper accepted at the premier international Learning Analytics research conference!

Prieto-Alvarez, C.G., Martinez-Maldonado, R. & Buckingham Shum, S. (In Press). LA-DECK: A Card-Based Learning Analytics Co-Design Tool. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK2020), Frankfurt.