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How can you use data to understand student engagement?

The data you use will mostly depend on how your course is structured. In a lecture-based biology course with no online presence, for example, it’s about how the physical class performs—quiz and exam scores, as well as attendance and classroom interactions.

In a blended, flipped or online classroom environment, what materials are downloaded or viewed by a student in advance of a classroom discussion, for example, can give a good sense of student engagement—instructors can see which students did and didn’t do their homework. In those situations, how you’re using your online presence will dictate the kinds of data you can collect.

When analyzed the right way, the data will start to tell a story about student engagement, creating more detailed snapshots of what’s going on in a classroom or online, and giving instructors insights into behaviors that they might not have seen otherwise.

For example, in a blended learning program, students who aren’t actively participating in a classroom discussion might still be logging in and reading all the content and materials that were assigned to prepare for that discussion. Data can reveal those kinds of interesting, hidden patterns and empower instructors to better understand student engagement around such activities.

Armed with those insights, instructors can then decide what they need to change to help increase engagement and improve individual performance.

Check out our Learning Analytics Blueprint for creating your own data strategy

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