Co-designing writing analytics

Our cutting-edge research in education leads the way in productive and ethical use of data and technology in classrooms. Drawing from the fields of learning analytics, educational data mining, and artificial intelligence in education, the core focus of the research strand is in the integration and implementation of technology to improve teaching and learning practices. We augment pedagogical practices with technological innovations by cross-fertilizing research and practice. Most commonly, the work involves co-design with key stakeholders such as educators and students to build and evaluate relevant educational tools for classrooms. Research in the strand employs mixed methods including quantitative, qualitative and analytic approaches. An example is the development of an automated writing feedback tool called ‘AcaWriter’ with a multi-disciplinary team of faculty members in UTS from Learning Analytics, Law, Accounting and Pharmacy – here, the tool’s automated feedback and pedagogic interventions were co-designed with the educators tying it to authentic assessments in their specific disciplinary writing contexts in higher education.

Watch a student introduction to the AcaWriter tools:

The AcaWriter tools for automated formative feedback on academic scholarly and reflective writing, see the project website.

You can explore more relevant resources below

  1. Society of Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) Podcast episode hosted by Antonette Shibani featuring Ed de Quincey and Kenneth Holstein as guests, discussing ways to involve stakeholders such as students and teachers in the design of learning analytics using participatory design approaches:

  2. Simon Knight, Antonette Shibani, Sophie Abel, Andrew Gibson, Philippa Ryan, Nicole Sutton, Raechel Wight, Cherie Lucas, Ágnes Sándor, Kirsty Kitto, Ming Liu, Radhika Vijay Mogarkar & Simon Buckingham Shum (2020). AcaWriter: A learning analytics tool for formative feedback on academic writing. Journal of Writing Research.

  3. Antonette Shibani, Simon Knight & Simon Buckingham Shum (2020). Educator Perspectives on Learning Analytics in Classroom Practice. The Internet and Higher Education. 

  4. Simon Knight (2020). Augmenting Assessment with Learning Analytics. In M. Bearman, P. Dawson, R. Ajjawi, J. Tai, & D. Boud (Eds.), Re-imagining University Assessment in a Digital World. Springer.

  5. Simon Knight, Andrew Gibson and Antonette Shibani (2020). Implementing Learning Analytics for Learning Impact: Taking Tools to Task. The Internet and Higher Education. 

  6. Antonette Shibani, Simon Knight and Simon Buckingham Shum (2019). Contextualizable Learning Analytics Design: A Generic Model, and Writing Analytics Evaluations. In Proceedings of LAK19: Ninth International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge, Tempe, Arizona (ACM Press).

  7. Kirsty Kitto & Simon Knight (2019). Practical ethics for building learning analytics. British Journal of Educational Technology.

  8. Simon Knight, Antonette Shibani & Simon Buckingham Shum (2018). Augmenting Formative Writing Assessment with Learning Analytics: A Design Abstraction Approach. In J. Kay & R. Luckin (Eds.), 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age. Making the Learning Sciences Count (Vol. 3, pp. 1783–1790). London, UK: International Society of the Learning Sciences 

  9. Antonette Shibani, Simon Knight, Simon Buckingham Shum & Philippa Ryan (2017). Design and Implementation of a Pedagogic Intervention Using Writing Analytics. In Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computers in Education. New Zealand: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education 

  10. Andrew Gibson, Adam Aitken, Agnes Sándor, Simon Buckingham Shum, Cherie Tsingos-Lucas & Simon Knight (2017). Reflective Writing Analytics for Actionable Feedback. Proceedings of LAK17: 7th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge, March 13-17, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (ACM Press). DOI: [Awarded BEST FULL RESEARCH PAPER] 

  11. Elizabeth Koh, Antonette Shibani, Jennifer Pei-Ling Tan & Helen Hong (2016). A pedagogical framework for learning analytics in collaborative inquiry tasks: an example from a teamwork competency awareness program. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK ‘16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 74-83. DOI:

Simon Knight
Simon Knight
Associate Professor

Dr Simon Knight is a senior lecturer in the Transdisciplinary School, co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Learning Analytics, and Director of CREDS. Simon researches how people find, use, and evaluate evidence.

Simon Buckingham Shum
Simon Buckingham Shum

Simon is a Professor and Director of the Connected Intelligence Centre at UTS which specialises in Educational Data Science and Human-Centred Design to develop interactive tools that help leaders, analysts, educators and students uncover new insights.

Kirsty Kitto
Kirsty Kitto
Associate Professor

Kirsty Kitto is an Associate Professor in the Connected Intelligence Centre, where she models the many ways in which humans interact with information, and how this can change as a result of the different contexts in which people find themselves.