Empower E-learning with Visual Analytics

About us

In the era of big data, the rich data accumulated by the online learning industry have brought new inspirations to instruction intelligence and tutorial services. Processing vast amounts of information into knowledge and improving data utilization capabilities have become opportunities for these new inspirations. Visualization has a direct and close connection with knowledge expression and is an important means of interpreting complex data.

We are E-Learning group of HKUST VisLab. In order to help educators have a deeper understanding of students' online learning behavior and performance, we have explored this study for years and published many related work in this field. We also build some useful open-source techniques on user behavior data collection, online course data visualization and etc. If you have interests in our works, please feel free to contact us.




Instruction Intelligence

Educational areas data, such as online tutorial videos and students' interaction records, are all our playgrounds to provide instruction intelligence via visual analytics.

Big Data

Advanced data mining and deep learning models guarantee us to tackle with billions of course videos and interaction logs extracted from different E-Learning platforms.

Visual Analytics

Except the basic visualization representation, we introduce and empower visual anlytics to facilitate instruction intelligence.

Would you like to know more or just discuss something?

Contact us


Phase I

Design and Analysis of MOOC Courses by Using Student Learning and Performance Data

We developed novel visualization techniques to help domain experts to analyze large-scale data of MOOCs. It provides course instructors and education analysts with intuitive, interactive and detailed analysis of the MOOC data including clickstream data when students interact with course videos, grading data for assignments and exams, and forum data. More specifically, our data visualization techniques help users explore the MOOC data from the following perspectives: video popularity, click stream analysis, demographic distribution, user forum interactions, dropout analysis and sequence analysis. Multi-exploration techniques are offered for analysis at different levels. With the help of our data visualization techniques, course instructors/designers and learning analysts can conduct detailed exploration of the learners’ learning behaviors in an intuitive way, gain deep insights into the students’ learning behaviors and further improve their course designs with evidence-based guidance.

Phase II

E-Learning of Math and Computational Thinking in K-12 and Higher Education

We developed a general interaction data collection technique, which could collect students' fine-grained mouse movement data during the problem-solving process, and deployed the techinique on a K-12 resource-based E-Learning platform since the early 2019 to collect data for research. Based on the collected data, we analyzed the detailed problem-solving sequences and built several novel and intuitive visualization systems, such as QLens and SeqDynamics, which aim at help the platform to infer students' cognitive state in the dynamic problem-solving process. What's more, we extracted the interaction features from students' mouse movement trajectories to predict their performances on any given questions and recommend personalized learning paths.


Merit in E-Learning at APICTA'15

HKICT Best Innovation Silver Award

Best Poster in IEEE VIS'2019

Conference Paper
Open Software Release


We have conducted extensive research on online learning and below is a list of our recent papers that are supported by this E-learning project.


BlockLens: Visual Analytics of Student Coding Behaviors in Block-Based Programming Environments

ACM L@S, 2022

Author: Sean Tsung, Huan Wei, Haotian Li, Yong Wang, Meng Xia, Huamin Qu

Links: [ACM DL]

A Visual Analytics Approach to Facilitate the Proctoring of Online Exams

ACM CHI, 2021

Author: Haotian Li, Min Xu, Yong Wang, Huan Wei, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

Data Analytics and Visualization Approaches for Online Learning of Math and Computational Thinking


Author: HKUST VisLab E-Learning Group

Links: [pdf]

Peer-inspired Student Performance Prediction in Interactive Online Question Pools with Graph Neural Network

CIKM, 2020

Author: Haotian Li, Huan Wei, Yong Wang, Yangqiu Song, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

Using Information Visualization to Promote Students’ Reflection on “Gaming the system” in Online Learning

L@S, 2020

Author: Meng Xia, Yuya Asano, Joseph Jay Williams, Huamin Qu, Xiaojuan Ma

Links: [pdf]

SeqDynamics: Visual Analytics for Evaluating Online Problem-solving Dynamics

EuroVis, 2020

Author: Meng Xia, Min Xu, Chuan-en Lin, Ta Ying Cheng, Huamin Qu, Xiaojuan Ma

Links: [pdf]

Predicting Student Performance in Interactive Online QuestionPools Using Mouse Interactions

ACM LAK (Learning Analytics & Knowledge), 2020

Author: Huan Wei, Haotian Li, Meng Xia, Yong Wang, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

Visual Analytics of Student Learning Behaviors on K-12 Mathematics E-learning Platforms

IEEE VIS Posters, 2019 (Best Poster Award)

Author: Meng Xia, Huan Wei, Min Xu, Leo Yu Ho Lo, Yong Wang, Rong Zhang, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

MOOCad: Visual Analysis of Anomalous Learning Activities in Massive Open Online Courses

EuroVis 2019 Short Paper

Author: Xing Mu, Ke Xu, Qing Chen, Fan Du, Yun Wang, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

PeerLens: Peer-inspired Interactive Learning PathPlanning in Online Question Pool

ACM CHI, 2019

Author: Meng Xia, Mingfei Sun, Huan Wei, Qing Chen, Yong Wang, Lei Shi, Huamin Qu, Xiaojuan Ma

Links: [pdf]

StageMap: Extracting and Summarizing Progression Stages in Temporal Event Sequences

IEEE Conference on Big Data, 2018

Author: Yuanzhe Chen, Abishek Puri, Linping Yuan, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

ViSeq: Visual Analytics of Learning Sequence in Massive Open Online Courses​​

IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, 2018

Author: Qing Chen, Xuanwu Yue, Xavier Plantaz, Yuanzhe Chen, Conglei Shi, Ting-Chuen Pong, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

VisForum: A visual analysis system for exploring user groups in online forums

ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems (ACM TiiS), 2018

Author: Siwei Fu, Yong Wang, Yi Yang, Qingqing Bi, Fangzhou Guo, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

A Narrative Visualization Approach For Massive Open Online Courses Data Analysis

HKUST Mphil Thesis, 2018

Author: Zhen Li (Supervisor: Huamin Qu)

Visual Analytics and Storytelling of Data from Massive Open Online Courses

HKUST PhD Thesis, 2018

Author: Qing Chen (Supervisor: Huamin Qu)

Visual Analytics of Online Communication

HKUST PhD Thesis, 2018

Author: Siwei Fu (Supervisor: Huamin Qu)

Visual Analytics of Temporal Event Data

HKUST PhD Thesis, 2018

Author: Yuanzhe Chen (Supervisor: Huamin Qu)

Visual Analysis of MOOC Forums with iForum

IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, 2017

Author: Siwei Fu, Jian Zhao, Weiwei Cui, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

DropoutSeer: Visualizing Learning Patterns in Massive Open Online Courses for Dropout Reasoning and Prediction

IEEE Conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST), 2016

Author: Yuanzhe Chen, Qing Chen, Mingqian Zhao, Sebastien Boyer, Kalyan Veeramachaneni, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

NetworkSeer: Visual Analysis for Social Network in MOOCs

Pacific Visualization Symposium (PacificVis), 2016

Author: Tongshuang Wu, Yuan Yao, Yuqing Duan, Xinzhi Fan, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

PeakVizor: Visual Analytics of Peaks in Video Clickstreams from Massive Open Online Courses

IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, 2016

Author: Qing Chen, Yuanzhe Chen, Dongyu Liu, Conglei Shi, Yingcai Wu, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

A Narrative Visualization System for Peaks in Video Clickstreams from Massive Open Online Courses

HKUST TLE Mphil Thesis, 2016

Author: Chengjin Li (Supervisor: Huamin Qu)

VisMOOC: Visualizing Video Clickstream Data from Massive Open Online Courses

IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium (PacificVis), 2015

Author: Conglei Shi, Siwei Fu, Qing Chen, Huamin Qu

Links: [pdf]

Visual Analytics of Data from MOOCs

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications (CG&A) 2015

Author: Huamin Qu, Qing Chen

Links: [pdf]

Open Source


A visualization technique to analyze and visualize user's active behaviors for MOOCs by utilizing large-scale data.


A general data collection technique to collect user's all kinds of mouse interaction data from a webpage.


A visualization technique to evaluates user’s problem-solving dynamics from both cognitive and non-cognitive perspectives.

Contact Us

huamin@cse.ust.hk, hweiad@connect.ust.hk

RM4203, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong