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Using the ‘LMS Analytics’ tool to connect with students

Understanding the student access and activity within a course is even more valuable when connecting with students about their progress. The ‘LMS Analytics’ tool in every MyUni course supports staff to explore course activity and connect with students via email.

Instructors can rapidly access data on the frequency and timing of student access for course content, including pages and tools, at a cohort-level as well as for individual students. This supports the identification of students who are more active within the course, and whether that activity is related to areas of the course used by other students. Greater understanding of both *when* and *how often* course resources are being used by individuals is obviously useful when discussing assessment activities with students through semester. Two students may have an equal number of ‘clicks’ within a course but be quite active in different areas of a course – one may be actively posting in a discussion board, while the other is downloading files for offline review.

Similarly, consideration of the analytics informs course design and delivery. It is not unusual to find a particular content item or learning resource has very low access rates, or perhaps has not been accessed at a time when the maximum benefit could be derived, such as a module used for revision on a specific topic in the week prior to an assessment. This low access may be caused by a variety of factors, such as:

  • many items in the course, creating a digital clutter or noise, which ‘hides’ certain materials in plain sight; or
  • messaging disconnect between the course online resources and delivery where the relevance of materials may not be obvious to students; or
  • content / resources located in an area of the course students may not be be expecting.

Exploring the course design in conjunction with the analytics can be a useful exercise to ensure the maximum benefit is delivered through MyUni course sites. Awareness of course component access rates facilitates collaborative and useful conversations between learning designers and academic staff, focusing on strategies and tactics that can inform future course and activity design considerations.

It is also possible to connect with students using the ‘LMS Analytics’ tool which generates relevant list of students based on filtered reporting. These lists, generated as CSV files can be downloaded to obtain the email addresses. Instructors can then reach out to students who may not be either posting and/or reading a class discussion board, for example, and encourage greater use of this class resource.

As always, the Learning Analytics project team is interested in your feedback on this tool – please contact us through learn_analytics@adelaide.edu.au if you have suggestions for further development, or want to discuss your course data in greater detail!

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