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How to Use Student Data to Improve Learning

  • 3 Min Read

Here’s how you can track the footprints that students leave behind in your digital learning environment.

Students leave footprints behind every time they engage with their school’s digital learning environment. Learning analytics describe how those footprints can be used to improve learning, teaching, and institutional effectiveness.

Let’s take a look at four areas where you can begin making your students’ data actionable.

1. Login Data

As an instructor, learning environment logins can help you see specific levels of student participation as well as how often they’re interacting with your learning environment. For example, by looking at a login report, you can quickly see which students are active, where students are most active, and where students are not active at all. That information can help you assess where and when you may need to intervene, or where you might need to edit learning content to provide more clarity.

If you’re an administrator, login data can be particularly useful for seeing where faculty are participating and engaging students. This offers administrators a means of seeing beyond the “closed door” of the classroom, and allows you to provide additional coaching and support where and when necessary.

2. Tool and Learning Object Data

Knowing which tools and learning objects students are accessing, and how often they’re accessing them, can be useful when you’re assessing student participation and performance.

For example, as an instructor, if you notice that a student isn’t performing well on specific assignments, you can look to see if the student is accessing the appropriate assigned videos and discussion threads. You can also use this information to get a sense of what content students are accessing the most and the least. This information can be quite useful in informing your instructional decision-making and course design.

As an administrator, you can use a tool access report to see what tools faculty are using and if there are any performance issues associated with specific tool use. Also, if you see that students using a specific tool often perform better than other students, you can host a discussion with faculty and instructional designers to see what strategies and tactics they’re using with that tool that could, in turn, inform future course and activity design considerations.

3. Activity Logs

When looking at student activity holistically, it can be helpful to know how often students are engaged with course content, how often they’re interacting with other students, and what actions they’re performing when logged in to your learning environment.

For example, let’s say, as an instructor, you want to see which students are most active in the discussion forum. Using this information, you might send a note to those who are not participating as regularly as they should be, and reward those who are actively engaging and contributing content.

As an administrator, an activity report might be useful when you’re looking at the relationship between student performance and faculty engagement. For example, if you can see when a student’s performance and activity levels began to drop, you should also be able to see when and how often the faculty member intervened. That kind of information can be useful in coaching and supporting faculty performance.

4. Positive Interventions

Ultimately, student activity and assessment data can help you see where students are having difficulty so you can intervene.

It’s important to note that learning analytics serve you best as a diagnostic process that you can use to gain insights into student behavior, as well as by helping you gauge the effectiveness of learning content and organization.

In addition, analyzing student and instructor behaviors can help you and your institution identify at-risk students and instructors early on in a course or program, so you can intervene and provide support as quickly as possible.

Want to learn more? Download the Ultimate Guide to Learning Data and Analytics to discover how you can unlock the power of your data to become a world-class learning organization.

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