## Blackboard Analytics Help Teachers and Students

### Guest Blogger: Dr. Sean McBride

• What is Blackboard, currently known as MU Online?
• How often does the current generation of tech savvy students really use Blackboard?
• How hard is Blackboard to use as a professor?
• I use Blackboard, but I wonder which students are actually looking at the material I have posted?
• What day of the week and hour of the day do they access Blackboard?
• How long does each student spend in Blackboard and what are they looking at?
• Will my students check Blackboard more often than if I just post class material on the cork board outside my office?
• Is there any data that suggests students who access the material posted in Blackboard perform better than those students who chose not to access the provided materials in Blackboard?

Figure 1Illustrates the number of page hits as a function of each day in the semester so far. The points at which the exams were given can easily be seen. Based on the increased activity for exam 2 and exam 3, one could speculate that after the first exam the students learned to start studying a few days in advance prior to the exams instead of just the day before like on exam 1.

Figure 2(A) Illustrates the number of page hits as a function of each day in the week. Clearly most students spend Sunday night doing the web based homework. Tuesday appears to be reserved for studying for the exam or quiz on Wednesday. (B) This plot illustrates the number of page hits as a function of each hour in the day. From this I have learned 5 am is the least active time for students getting work done outside of class, while 3 pm and 7-8 pm seem to be the peak activity times in Blackboard on any given day.

Figure 3Examines the relationship between overall course grade and the number of course accesses on Blackboard. Even neglecting the extrema for this course, there seems to be convincing evidence that there is a correlation between overall grade % and the number of course accesses.