RESEARCH & teaching

Visualizing Success

Image of Students using iPads

Despite the many positive correlations between self-regulated learning (SRL) with academic success, limited research examines how online learners metacognitively monitor and reflect upon their learning. Learning analytics tools may be used to aid in the expansion of learner’s understanding of persistence and engagement through monitoring and evaluation, providing learners formative feedback on their self-regulatory processes as they transpire. My research explores how learning analytics employing visualization techniques may positively impact online learners. The strategic use of visualizations within these tools could provides actionable intelligence to learners on a “just in time” basis, garnering attentiveness, memorability, and the pattern recognition integral to insight generation. Pedagogically motivated visual learning analytics could increase the likelihood of academic success for a rapidly growing population of adult learners. Longitudinal study of these constructs allow for deeper exploration of the theoretical models of self-regulated learning, goal orientation, motivation, and the impact of aesthetics on the adoption and sustained use of learning analytics tools. This research contributes to the design and evaluation of pedagogically motivated learning analytics tools employing visualizations, human computer interaction, and post-secondary education.


Ph.D. Interactive Arts and Technology, Visual Learning Analytics Focus
Simon Fraser University


M.Ed. in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies & Technology Education
University of Victoria Thesis: “Visualization Data For Learning Analytics”


M.A. in Television, Film and New Media Production
Educational Technology Certificate in Distance Learning
San Diego State University Thesis: “Virtual Reel: Multimedia Marketing and Distribution on the Internet”


B.S. in Acoustical Engineering
Purdue University


Select Research Appointments

Visual Learning Analytics Researcher
SSHRC fellowship researching visual learning analytics in blended and online learning environments

Jan. 2016 – Present

Mobile Application Researcher
CanAsisst fellowship researching visual analytics solutions in the mobile health application space

Sept. 2013 – Dec. 2014

Business Analytics Lab Researcher
SAP Internship designing and developing personal visual analytics solutions in the time management space

May 2012 – Aug. 2012

Mobile Application Design Researcher
Westcoast Child Dev. Group internship designing a mobile health application for anxiety management

Sept. 2011 – Feb. 2012

Select Professional Experience

Art Institutes of Pittsburgh & California Instructor
Art Foundations, Digital Filmmaking & Video Production, Mathematics, Web Design & Interactive Media

Oct. 2008-present

DeVry University Adjunct Instructor
Game & Simulation Programming and Multimedia Design & Development

Oct. 2008-Dec. 2010

THQ Locomotive Games Associate Producer
Project management, execution & quality assurance of Wii games

May 2007-April 2008

Sony Computer Entertainment America Line Producer
Supervised artists, production, editorial & post production for PS3, PS2, & PSP

Feb. 2006-May 2007

San Diego State University Graduate Teaching Assistant
Audio Production, Beginning and Advanced Levels of TV & Video Production

Aug. 2003-Jan. 2006

Sea World Audio Video Department Assistant Lead
Technical director, sound board, camera, tape operator, supervisory tasks

April 2004-Oct. 2005

CBS WLFI Television News Producer
Spanish news program “En La Vida,” commercials, & promotions

July 2002-July 2003

Fellowships and Scholarships

SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship


Helmut & Hugo Eppich Family Graduate Scholarship


Andrew Wade Memorial Scholarship in Visual Analytics


School of Interactive Arts and Technology Graduate Fellowship


MITACS Research Fellow


Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center Trainee


Grace Hopper Celebration of Women Scholarship sponsored by Microsoft


SDSU International Study Scholarship


Certified Engineer In Training (EIT), National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying


Purdue Creating Change Scholarship


Indiana American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Alumni Scholarship


Purdue Academic Scholarship


Frito Lay Academic Scholarship


Minority Engineering Academic Scholarship


Publications, Workshops, and Posters

Alabi, H., & Hatala, M. (2017). Back to the Drawing Board: (Re)Designing Learning Analytics. Manuscript in preparation.

Alabi, H., & Hatala, M. (2017). Mind the Gap: Visualizing Uncertainty in Learning Analytics. Manuscript in preparation.

Alabi, H., & Hatala, M. (2017). Getting the Gist: Developing a Visual Cognition Model of Judgments of Learning with Learning Analytics. Psychonomic Society 58th Annual Meeting Poster Presentation. Vancouver, BC.

Alabi, H., & Hatala, M. (2017). How Does This Visualization Say I’m Doing? Handling Uncertainty in Learning Analytics. Proceedings of the Designing for Uncertainty in HCI Workshop, held in conjunction with the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Denver, CO.5

Alabi, H., & Hatala, M. (2017). Best intentions: Learner Feedback on Learning Analytics Visualizations D esign (pp. 612–613). Presented at the 7th International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference, New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.

Alabi, H. (2016). A Language And A Space - Visualizing Learning Online. Developing Effective Educational Experiences through Learning Analytics. IBI Global.

Alabi, H., & Coady, Y. (2014). Activity Tracking: Are We More Than The Sum of Our Programming? UbiComp 2014 Workshop - Disasters in Personal Informatics: The Unpublished Stories of Failure and Lessons Learned. Seattle, WA.

Alabi, H., Code, J., & Irvine, V. (2013). Visualizing Learning Analytics: Designing A Roadmap For Success. World Conference on Educational Multimedia Conceptual & Empirical Study Track. Victoria, BC.

Alabi, H., Code, J., & Irvine, V. (2013). Visualizing learning analytics. Canadian Society for the Study of Education Poster Presentation. Victoria, BC.

Alabi, H. & Tanaka, J. (2012). Playing on expert mode: the science of faces. University of California San Diego Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center Poster Presentation. San Diego, CA.

Alabi, H. & Gooch, B. (2011). The (inter)face of Kalm. Proceedings of the Visual Analytics in Healthcare: Understanding the Physician Perspective Workshop, held in conjunction with IEEE VisWeek. Providence, RI.

Alabi, H., Worling, D. & Gooch, B. (2011). The accessibility toolkit. Proceedings of the 10th SIGPLAN symposium on New ideas, new paradigms, and reflections on programming and software, held in conjunction with SPLASH '11 Conference on Systems, Programming, and Applications: Software for Humanity. Portland, OR.

Alabi, H. & B. Gooch. (2011). Mobile device application of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. Proceedings of the Personal Informatics Workshop, held in conjunction with the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Vancouver, BC.

Alabi, H. & B. Gooch. (2011). Mobile device application of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques for anxiety. Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Poster Presentation. Portland, OR.

Alabi, H. (2010). Making the Fantasy Real: Giving Good UI (User Interface). Games for Health Conference Presentation. Boston, MA.

Alabi, H. & Gauthier, C. (2010). Tough Conversations: Intersections of Allyship and Marginalities. Queer People of Color Conference Presentation. San Diego State University, CA.

Barlet, M., Prior, D., Herz, M., Alabi, H. Richardson, J., & Hickman, J. (2010). MMOs Empowering the Disabled, Enriching Lives. PAX Prime Panel Presentation. Seattle, WA.