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Blackboard Help

System Effectiveness

Get an overall sense of your system’s health.

Evidence of adoption is critical to success. Analyze adoption rates to discover if your users are really getting the most from your system. Adjust the system accordingly, and be rewarded with an engaging robust learning environment that enables the institution and enrolled students reach their business and learning goals.

Example: Low adoption rates can lead to an investigation into how faculty currently use course shells. This investigation could then inform discussions and decisions around engagement, availability of courses, course lifecycles, SIS practices, and student awareness.

After making improvements, check adoption rates again to confirm that the changes had a positive impact.

Blackboard Learn provides a collection of tools and reports to track system effectiveness. For example, you can use the following to gain information:

  • System Usage and Adoption
  • Return on Investment (ROI) of Adoption
  • System Monitoring and Performance

System usage and adoption

A basic indicator of success is user activity and login rates.

  • User Activity Overview: Review overall system and course activity for all users including average logins, and time spent on task as well as statistics on user activity by course.
    Item Analysis Example

    Example

    After the analysis of User Activity Overview data you are able to answer questions such as:

    • How long are students spending in Learn?
    • How long are students spending in Courses or on tasks?

    This information allows deeper analysis of overall Learn activity which may drive decisions around course design or branding decisions.

  • Student Overview for Single Course: Review an individual student's activity within a course, sorted by date. Data includes the total overall time the student spent in a 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 on each.
  • User Activity in Groups: Review activity and user participation in a group.
  • User Statistics: Use this report to view the average number of users (students and instructors) per month and per day.
  • Overall Summary of Usage: Review an overall summary of usage for the Blackboard Learn system.
  • Textbook Information: Review information about textbooks used in courses in Blackboard Learn.
  • Financial Aid Report: Use the Financial Aid Reporting Building Block enables users to create Single and Multi- Course User Participation reports that provide data required for the reporting of student academic contribution in compliance with Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) rules established by the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more, see Financial Aid Reporting.

If your institution licenses Community Engagement, you can access the following report:

  • Tracking Reports: This report is available only if your institution licenses Community Engagement. This report provides detailed usage statistics for courses and organizations.

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

  • Logins by Time and Date: This report can help find patterns of usage by day of week and time of day, which can be used to support operational decisions, like help desk support or scheduled downtime planning.

Adoption return on investment (ROI)

Ensure that your users are not just logged in, but are using the system in a way that enhances business and learning effectiveness.

  • User Activity Overview: Review overall system and course activity for all users including average logins, and time spent on task as well as statistics on user activity by course.
  • Overall Summary of Usage: Review an overall summary of usage for the Blackboard Learn system.

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

  • Learn Course at a Glance: Use this report to gather detailed information about how a student is performing compared to other students in the same course or with the same major.
  • Student at a Glance: Use this report to 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 Matrix: Use this course interactions matrix report to analyze activity and grade patterns in a course, and help find students with different usage and performance profiles.
  • Usage Patterns

System monitoring and performance

The Administrator Console is useful for monitoring and gathering a variety of information within the Blackboard Learn user interface which was previously only accessible via the command line. This information is important when analyzing performance and system heath.

  • CPU Utilization: This page allows you to view the CPU Utilization of all Blackboard Learn application servers over time. System Mode CPU utilization is overhead CPU usage used by the operating system, and User Mode CPU Utilization is CPU usage dedicated to processes running on the application server, including the Learn JVM.
  • Database: Detailed information about database connection pool usage and potential performance issues related to long running SQL queries.
  • EhCaches: Blackboard Learn uses ehCache for its java object caching framework. This page allows users to see the performance characteristics of all ehCaches in Learn over time.
  • Java Virtual Machine: The Java virtual machine separates its memory into different pools in the heap and non-heap memory spaces and uses Garbage Collection to manage those memory spaces. All work done by the Java Virtual Machine is accomplished via threads. This page allows you to view memory space utilization, garbage collection performance, and thread usage over time.
  • JMX Browser: Browse the JMX MBean hierarchy
  • Logs: Monitor system logs live through the console.
  • Monitors: Detailed view of supported monitors and their associated listeners.
  • Threads: Navigate a list of the current threads in the Java virtual machine.
  • Scheduled Tasks: Blackboard Learn Scheduled tasks are scheduled periodic tasks that run in the background. This page allows you to see what Scheduled Tasks are running, when they started, and how long it took them to run.
  • System Captures: Collect logs, system metrics and thread data for offline analysis.
  • System Information: Detailed information about the operating system and Java virtual machine.