statistics imageSubmitted by Melissa Baysingar, Instructional Design Specialist and Stephanie Whalen, Academy Chair and English & Interdisciplinary Studies

In the article What Students Need in the Asynchronous Environment – You, Stephanie Whalen put the call out to faculty: “we must figure out how to create interactive experiences in asynchronous courses without penalizing students who cannot attend at specific times.” Among the recommendations Stephanie gives in that article to help faculty answer this call, she discusses using Blackboard features to help track things like attendance and engagement.

With that in mind, we explored Stephanie’s ENG101 class from Summer 2020 to see in more detail what kinds of data Blackboard can provide faculty interested in student attendance and engagement. We were excited about what we found, and share our findings in this video, Tracking Attendance and Participation in an Online Course. Here are the highlights:

  • You can review attendance in any live Collaborate sessions held with students using the View Reports tool in Collaborate. Stephanie held a live Collaborate session in ENG101 in which she reviewed the final project, and she was able to go back and see that 11 students had joined her for that session. She could see their names, how they accessed the session, and how long they attended.
  • You can determine which students are accessing recorded sessions by enabling Statistics Tracking on the posted recorded links. Stephanie wanted to find out which of her ENG101 students that didn’t attend the final project review live in Collaborate had clicked on the recording instead. By enabling Statistics Tracking on the Blackboard item containing the recording link, she was able to run a report on selected students and see if they had clicked on the recording.
  • You can see which resources are popular with students by enabling Statistics Tracking. Statistics Tracking can be enabled on almost any item or folder in Blackboard. Stephanie held many live Collaborate sessions in ENG101 in which she reviewed major assignments with students. She shared the links to the recordings of all of those sessions in one folder in the class, and enabled Statistics Tracking on that folder. She was able to run a report to see if students were utilizing these resources and found that, in total, students in her course clicked on the folder 2,996 times!
  • You can run a Course Report to get detailed info on a student’s engagement in the class. Stephanie ran a Course Report called Student Overview for a Single Course on one of her students and found that the student had spent over 200 hours engaged in the course in Blackboard. She was also able to see exactly which resources and assignments. A report run on another student showed far less time and resources clicked. Running these Course Reports can give Stephanie valuable insight into a student’s engagement in the class when checking in with students or seeing what resources they may be under utilizing.
  • You can enable Blackboard’s Attendance Tool to give you a place to track attendance in the Grade Center. You can always create a manual column in the Grade Center for attendance/participation, but this tool can give you an easy place to track student participation. You can also allow Collaborate to automatically send attendance data to the Attendance Tool if desired.

We will continue to explore ways that Blackboard can help faculty in their mission to help students succeed in the online environment.

Have you tried any of these tools? How are you tracking attendance and participation in your course? Share your stories on the Academy’s Online Instruction Forum on Yammer.