TrAVis to enhance online tutoring and learning activities

Madeth May (LIESP Laboratory, INSA‐Lyon, University of Lyon, Villeurbanne, France)
Sébastien George (LIESP Laboratory, INSA‐Lyon, University of Lyon, Villeurbanne, France)
Patrick Prévôt (LIESP Laboratory, INSA‐Lyon, University of Lyon, Villeurbanne, France)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 19 April 2011



This paper presents a part of our research work that places an emphasis on Tracking Data Analysis and Visualization (TrAVis) tools, a web‐based system, designed to enhance online tutoring and learning activities, supported by computer‐mediated communication (CMC) tools. TrAVis is particularly dedicated to assist both tutors and students in the task of exploiting tracking data of communication activities throughout the learning process. This paper focuses on the technical aspects of TrAVis, the visualization of students' tracking data and the experiment we have conducted in an authentic learning situation.


A mixture of iterative and participative approaches has been adopted for the design of TrAVis. Different versions of TrAVis were built during the progress of our research. The major changes in each build have particularly involved the conceptual design of data indicators of students' activities and the visualization techniques of the data indicators. Both case studies and experiments have been made to evaluate TrAVis.


This paper demonstrates how TrAVis provides a new experience in visualizing and analyzing students' tracking data. While it shows the originality and novelty of the system, it also reveals the potential benefits of TrAVis to both tutors and students in their online tutoring and learning activities.

Research limitations/implications

The result from the experiment is not sufficient to evaluate some specific aspects of TrAVis. As a matter of fact, the lack of user's feedback did not enable us to justify whether or not the proposed data indicators would be actually used by the users.

Practical implications

The data indicators shown in this paper are computed based on the real needs of the participants in the learning process. Online questionnaires were used and face‐to‐face interviews have been made to study the needs of the users throughout this research work.


One of the particularities of this research is the proposed system, TrAVis, objectively designed to better support the tutors in the tasks of monitoring and evaluating students on CMC tools. Plus, TrAVis is distinguished from the existing systems by its capacity in computing substantial data indicators, allowing the tutors to efficiently visualize and analyze both the process and the product of students' activities.



May, M., George, S. and Prévôt, P. (2011), "TrAVis to enhance online tutoring and learning activities", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 52-69.

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