Ph.D. Research Project

Author: Riccardo Mazza

Title of the dissertation: Using Information Visualisation to Facilitate Instructors in Web-based Distance Learning. (get the pdf file - 6.1 MB)

Supervisors: Prof. Marco Colombetti (USI, Lugano. Faculty of Communication Sciences) and dr. Vania Dimitrova (University of Leeds, UK. School of Computing)

Period: 2000 - 2004


CourseVis is a tool developed in the context of my Ph.D. research. This tool uses Information Visualization techniques that take student tracking data collected by CMS and generates graphical representations that can be used by instructors to gain an understanding of what is happening in distance learning classes.

You can read the abstract of the thesis for more details.

Here there are some images that may give you a basic idea about the capabilities of CourseVis. Click on these to have a larger image and a brief explanation.

accesses plot discussion plot discussion combined
graph discussion cognitive matrix student behaviours

Publications (see publications page for pdf files)

P9 Riccardo Mazza. Evaluating Information Visualization Applications with Focus Groups: the CourseVis experience. BELIV'06 - BEyond time and errors: novel evaLuation methods for Information Visualization. A workshop of the AVI 2006 International Working Conference on Advanced visual interfaces. Venice May 23, 2006. ACM Press   New York, NY,USA. ISBN:1-59593-562-2 URL:
P6 Riccardo Mazza, Vania Dimitrova. Generation of Graphical Representations of Student Tracking Data in Course Management Systems. In: 9th IEEE International Conference on Information Visualisation. London 6-8 July 2005. ISBN 0-7695-2397-8
P5 Riccardo Mazza, Vania Dimitrova. Visualising Student Tracking Data to Support Instructors in Web-Based Distance Education. In:  13th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2004) - Alternate Educational Track. 2004 May 17-22. pp.154-161. Best Alternate Tracks Paper Award. ISBN 1-58113-912-8
P4 Riccardo Mazza, Vania Dimitrova. CourseVis: Externalising Student Information to Facilitate Instructors in Distance Learning. In: U.Hoppe, F. Verdejo, J,. Kay (eds.) Proceedings of the International conference in Artificial Intelligence in Education. Sydney July 20-24, 2003. (AIED 2003). IOS press. pp. 279-286. ISBN 0922-6389.
P3 Riccardo Mazza, Vania Dimitrova. Informing The Design of a Course Data Visualisator: an Empirical Study. In: 5th International Conference on New Educational Environments. Lucerne 26-28 May. (ICNEE 2003). pp. 215 - 220. ISBN 3-0345-0096-3
PS1 Mazza R. (POSTER) Monitoring Students Activities in Course Management Systems with CourseVis. ED-MEDIA 2004 - World Conference on Education Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications. Lugano, June 21-26, 2004

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