Project Page: Thermos


The overall goal is to support students in improving aspects of study behavior by: helping them to assess important aspects of study behavior, to communicate students’ study behavior profile to provide them with insight, and to help them develop through actionable feedback.

Short description of the project

The Thermos project developed a feedback instrument (THERMOS dashboard) that provides students with insight and actionable feedback on their study behavior. The developed dashboard was piloted in six study programs in 20/21, across different faculties of Utrecht University (UU), including those located at University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU). The follow-up project ‘Thermos for UU’ starts in 21/22 and will further focus on the implementation process in collaboration with more study programs across UU and the UMCU.


Students learn best when they have insight in their own study behavior and motivation and know how to self-regulate. The Thermos project gives students insight in their study behavior and motivation by means of Learning Analytics. Learning Analytics revolves around gathering data about learners and their learning processes to better understanding and where possible improve them. It is often defined as “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data, about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs” (Siemens & Baker, 2012). Presenting students with data about their study motivation and study behavior may help them improve on aspects they choose. However, simply gathering and visualizing data may not necessarily work, as interpreting and acting upon data (visualizations) is not always easy (Jivet et al., 2020). Implementing a Learning Analytics Dashboard (LAD) into a meaningful educational context can increase the value for learners (Wise et al., 2016).


      Publications/links to further reading:

      • De Vreugd, Jansen van Leeuwen, Pouwels, & Van der Schaaf (2022). Tutors’ deliberations for implementing a Learning Analytics Dashboard in the Educational Context. In Companion Proceedings 12th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK22).
      • De Vreugd, Jansen, van Leeuwen, Sosnovsky, & Van der Schaaf (2021). Supporting Study Behavior with the Thermos Learning Analytics Dashboard. In Companion Proceedings 11th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK21).
      • Jivet, I., Scheffel, M., Schmitz, M., Robbers, S., Specht, M., & Drachsler, H. (2020). From students with love: An empirical study on learner goals, self-regulated learning and sense-making of learning analytics in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 47, 100758.
      • Lang, C., Siemens, G., Wise, A., & Gasevic, D. (Eds.). (2017). Handbook of learning analytics. SOLAR, Society for Learning Analytics and Research. DOI: 10.18608/hla17
      • Wise, A. F., Vytasek, J. M., Hausknecht, S., & Zhao, Y. (2016). Developing Learning Analytics Design Knowledge in the” Middle Space”: The Student Tuning Model and Align Design Framework for Learning Analytics Use. Online Learning, 20(2), 155-182.