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Student Performance and Retention

Every student can succeed.

Knowing how your students are performing helps you understand what your students are ready for and capable of. As you monitor student performance in your course, you can ensure all have an opportunity for success.

In the traditional classroom setting, you can determine if students are grasping the material through nonverbal cues, facial expressions, participation, and hand raises. In your online course, you can assess student performance with a collection of Blackboard Learn tools.

Start early. Use the tools to establish a baseline of student performance. This baseline is invaluable as you compare it to how your students perform throughout your course. You'll see patterns and recognize when you need to help at-risk-students succeed and prevent high-performing students from getting bored. Creating a baseline also helps you become familiar with the tools and reports available to you.

Your institution determines which tools and features are available in your courses. To learn more, contact your institution.

Student performance also provides insight into the overall design and effectiveness of a course. To learn more, see Best Practice: Analyze Course Effectiveness.

Monitor Student Retention

graphic_progress.pngThe Retention Center provides an easy way for you to discover which students in your course are at risk. Based on pre-configured rules and rules you create, students' engagement and participation are visually displayed, quickly alerting you to potential risk. From the Retention Center, you can communicate with struggling students and help them take immediate action for improvement.

You can begin using the Retention Center features immediatelyno setup required.

To learn more about the Retention Center and to see an example of it in action, see Retention Center.

Measure Student Performance

Seeing how your students perform in your course is a great indicator of how well they will succeed. Use this information to make changes to the mode of instruction or add additional work when students are struggling.

Example: Are students struggling with a certain topic? Look at the data. Have your students reviewed the material? If they have, consider revisiting parts of the lesson. Additional resources, discussions, and activities might help clear up confusion. Try new approaches to the topic. Sometimes the same information presented in a different way is all that is needed.

Use the following tools to effectively measure student performance:

  • Performance Dashboard: View all types of user activity in your course. To learn more, see Performance Dashboard.
  • Achievements: Designate criteria for issuing rewards to students in the form of both badges and certificates. To learn more, see Achievements.
  • Course Performance: View how student work performs against the target value in aligned goals. To learn more, see Course Reports and Goals.

If your institution licenses Blackboard Learn Analytics, you can access the following additional reports:

  • Student At a Glance: Gather detailed information about how a student is performing compared to other students in the same course or with the same major.
  • Learn Course At a Glance: Analyze how a particular course is designed, how the course compares to other course sections in the same department or with the same course number, and how students are using the course.
  • Activity and Grade Scatter Plot: Analyze how different student activity types relate to the grades recorded in the Grade Center or the SIS Final Grade.
  • Activity Matrix: Analyze activity and grade patterns in your course, and find students with different usage and performance profiles.

Track Student Activity and Participation

When you monitor activity and participation in your course, you can reach out to help struggling students before it's too late.

Example: Have you lost students along the way? Look at the data for any obvious reasons. When was the lost time they logged in to your course? Have they participated in the discussions? Contact these students and encourage them to participate more. Give them regular activities and achievements to complete. If they are struggling with the technology, ask a stronger student to help.

Use the following tools to see exactly what your students are doing and how they are participating:

  • Course Reports: Get a detailed picture of student activity in your course. This includes details about which students are accessing your course and when. To learn more, see Course Reports.
    • Course Activity Overview: Displays overall activity within a single course, sorted by student and date. Data includes the total and average time spent per user, and the total amount of activity for each user.
    • Student Overview for a Single Course: Displays an individual student's activity within your course, sorted by date. Data includes the total overall time the student spent in your course, as well as detailed information about the student's activity. For example, you can view which items and content areas a student accessed and the time spent in each.
    • Single Course User Participation: Displays the academic activity of students in your course, such as submissions. The report provides the following information:
      • Student's first name and last name
      • User ID and student batch ID
      • System availability setting
      • Course ID and course batch ID
      • Submission time/date stamp
      • Count of submissions for attemptable item types within a course: 
        • Assignments
        • Tests
        • Discussions board posts
        • Blogs
        • Journals

      If you do not see this report, your institution has not turned it on.

  • Tasks: Track student progress for tasks that you created. To learn more, see Tasks.
  • Last Access Grade Center user column: See when a student last accessed your course in the Last Access column. To learn more, see Grade Center Columns.
  • Statistics Tracking: Run a report to view detailed information about your content, including how many times an item was viewed by students and when it was accessed. To learn more, see Running Statistics Reports.
  • Item Analysis: View statistics on overall test performance and individual test questions. This data helps you recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of student performance. You can use this information to improve questions for future test administrations or to adjust credit on current attempts. To learn more, see Item Analysis.