Detecting learning strategies with analytics: Links with self-reported measures and academic performance

Dragan Gasevic, Jelena Jovanovic, Abelardo Pardo, Shane Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of analytic methods for extracting learning strategies from trace data has attracted considerable attention in the literature. However, there is a paucity of research examining any association between learning strategies extracted from trace data and responses to well-established self-report instruments and performance scores. This paper focuses on the link between the learning strategies identified in the trace data and student reported approaches to learning. The paper reports on the findings of a study conducted in the scope of an undergraduate engineering course (N=144) that followed a flipped classroom design. The study found that learning strategies extracted from trace data can be interpreted in terms of deep and surface approaches to learning. The detected significant links with self-report measures are with small effect sizes for both the overall deep approach to learning scale and the deep strategy scale. However, there was no observed significance linking the surface approach to learning an surface strategy nor were there significant associations with motivation scales of approaches to learning. The significant effects on academic performance were found, and consistent with the literature that used self-report instruments showing that students who followed a deep approach to learning had a significantly higher performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-128
JournalJournal of Learning Analytics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2017


  • learning analytics
  • learning strategy
  • approaches to learning
  • self reported measures


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