This study has been approved by the UCL Research Ethics Committee, study: 8673/006 and is registered under reference No Z6364106/2020/11/19 social research in line with UCL’s Data Protection Policy.

Who is conducting the research?

My name is Samantha Ahern and I am inviting you to take in part in my research project, ‘Uses of LA dashboards / visualisations in student advising’. I am a member of the Digital Education team at University College London and since October 2016 I have been focusing on learning analytics. My main area of interest is how learning analytics could be used to inform student support and wellbeing. This project is being funded by UCL.

This research aims to identify what synergies or conflicts exist between current learning analytics and student wellbeing policies, potentially producing some recommendations on how these services could be better aligned.

I very much hope that you would like to take part. This information sheet will try and answer any questions you might have about the project, but please don’t hesitate to contact me if there is anything else you would like to know.

Why are we doing this research?

Learning analytics implementations are predominantly designed for use by those supporting students there is a need to connect the literature on advising and tutoring with any research into the impacts of learning analytics on student behaviour. In terms of both learning behaviours and welfare (wellbeing and mental health).

This research aims to provide an overview of what is currently perceived as best practice in advising and tutoring. In this context, we will critically review the current literature on dashboard/visualisation design and investigate their use by student advisors with the aim of identifying any synergies and conflicts that exist.

Why am I being invited to take part?

Student advisors from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are being invited to take part as they are the primary users of these systems. Understanding how these systems are used and the challenges in doing so are important in informing the future design of these dashboards / visualisations.

What will happen if I choose to take part?

You will be requested to complete an online survey. A quantitative and thematic analysis will be undertaken of the survey responses.

Completion of the survey is totally voluntary and you will be able to exit the survey at any point without giving a reason. You do not have to answer all the questions if you choose not to.

Collection and Use of Personal Data

The controller for this project will be University College London (UCL). The UCL Data Protection Officer provides oversight of UCL activities involving the processing of personal data, and can be contacted at

This ‘local’ privacy notice sets out the information that applies to this particular study. Further information on how UCL uses participant information can be found in our ‘general’ privacy notice:

  • For participants in research studies, click here

 The information that is required to be provided to participants under data protection legislation (GDPR and DPA 2018) is provided across both the ‘local’ and ‘general’ privacy notices.

In order to facilitate this research some personally data will be requested as part of the registration process.

The data being requested is as follows:

  • Name and contact details of participants.

The lawful basis under which this data is being collected is as a task in the public interest. All personal data collected for this purpose will be deleted 18months after the completion of the research project.

If you wish to complain about our use of personal data, please send an email with the details of your complaint to the Data Protection Office so that we can look into the issue and respond to you.  You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) (the UK data protection regulator).  For further information on your rights and how to complain to the ICO, please refer to the ICO website.

 What will happen to the results of the research?

The outcomes of the research will be shared with you as will copies of any report or publications that incorporate the analysis. It is anticipated that the outcomes of this research will be shared internally within UCL, and may also be included in research publications, conference presentations or learning and teaching events.

Consent will be sought for the survey responses and associated analysis will be stored alongside the final project report on UCL’s Research Publication Service and potentially UCL Discovery.

Personal identifiable data will be removed before storage and dissemination. UCL Discovery is UCL’s open access repository, showcasing and providing access to UCL research publications. Consent for the storage of your survey responses in UCL Discovery can be withdrawn at any time.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this information sheet.

If you have any further questions before you decide whether to take part, you can reach me at: