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Using Analytics for Activity Awareness in Learning Systems

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Designs for Learning, Volume accepted (2014)


learning analytics


The purpose of this design case is to tell the story of our work to design context-aware activity notification for learning management systems. The story of the design experience is not simple, in that it includes research and development, conceptual evolution, implementation and extinction, and multiple phases, including inspiration for future products. The main character in our story is the Context-aware Activity Notification System (CANS). CANS was created by researchers and students in a university laboratory and started (as do many designs) while doing something else; became a dissertation; drew FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education) funding; was implemented over a number of years in a localized setting; eventually could no longer be supported; and continues to provide inspiration for visions of new forms of online learning. The design process is described across three phases: 1) initial design as part of a dissertation, 2) extensions to CANS enabled by a grant, and 3) future visions for the impact of CANS.