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Blackboard Help

Activity Report

Current student activity in a course can predict how they'll do in the course.

Steps to open the report: Course administration > X-Ray > Activity

The activity report tells you the following.

  • Inactive students: A list of who has not been active in your course.
  • Activity Metrics: Details on when students were last active in your course, how long they stay in it, and how many posts were made to discussions. It also shows you how regular the pattern of student behavior is when visiting your course. For example, you can see if students always spend a lot of hours in your course or if it happens on occasion.
  • Course activity by date: A graph showing the overall course activity already in your course as well as a forecast of activity trends over the next two weeks.
  • Activity by time of day: A visual representation of a 24-hour clock and at what times your course is the busiest.
  • Activity over last two weeks by weekday: A graph showing the overall hours spent in your course each day for this week compared to last week.
  • Activity over last two weeks: A graph showing the overall hours spent in your course this week compared to last week.
  • Relative activity compared to other students and compared to self: A graph that shows you activity levels of all students in your course.
  • Pie-chart of first time access: A pie-chart that shows you when students first logged into your course.

Inactive students

This table shows you who has not been active in your course yet.

Showing up early is a predictor of success. Research shows that participants who show up for class early are more likely to complete the course and on average perform better academically. This pattern of behavior may be an indication of future engagement.

Review this list early in your course. It is important to identify the no-shows as soon as possible. Often students haven't accessed the course yet because they are having technical issues. For example, they haven't received notice that the course has started, they don’t know where/how to log on, and so on. Reporting these issues to your institution's help-desk and dealing with them early increases the student's chance for success.

Activity Metrics

Seeing the different ways students are active in a course and how often give insight into their engagement and practices.

Take a student who spends a lot of time in the course but has few overall discussion posts. If a high number of discussion posts were made last week and the student doesn't visit the course regularly, it might indicate binge-study behavior.

The student activity table shows the activity level for each of the students in the course.

  • Last day active: Shows the last date the student accessed the course.
  • Total discussion posts: Shows the total number of posts made by the student in the course.
  • Time spent in course: Shows an estimate of the time, in hours and minutes, that the student spent interacting within the course.
  • Visit regularity (Daily): Shows how regularly students visit the course.

Course Activity by Date

The graph shows an estimate of time spent in course (blue line) and a forecast (dotted line) for the next two weeks. The dark-gray line shows the average total active hours over a period of time. The shaded area gives a range for that expected relationship. Activity forecasted for the next two weeks is indicated with a dotted line. Spikes in activity which are outside of the expected range are highlighted.

Interpret this graph

There are four elements in the graph that can help you interpret the course activity by date.

  • The smoothed average: This is represented by a dark-gray thick line. It is the average activity observed in your class smoothed into a fluid line. Any activity above and below it are above or below average.
  • The confidence level: This is the shaded area around the smoothed average. It shows how close the representation of the smoothed average is to the true average of the class. Wider confidence bands (shaded area) indicates a greater difference between the smoothed average and true average.
  • The forecast: This shows what you might expect over the next two weeks. It is based on the patterns observed up to this point. It does not take into account additional factors that may influence student activity. For example, It doesn't account for an upcoming online assignment that might raise the activity level going forward.
  • Spikes in activity: This shows you the outliers in your course. They are not inherently good or bad. They may occur due to external factors, such as slow internet connections. They may also occur due to course related activities, such as the participation in synchronous activities.

Activity by Time of Day

Knowing what time of day –or night– your students are active in the course site is part of knowing your students. Are they night-owls or early-birds? The information provided in this diagram can help you with scheduling synchronous activities for full participation.

The diagram is of a 24-hour day. It is based on the time set on your institution's server. A line shows when students are spending time in your course. Your course is busiest when the line approaches the outside edges of the 24-hour circle.

Example: The image shows course activity is high around 9:00 PM and 8:00 AM. Activity is low between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM.

Activity Over Last Two Weeks

There are two charts: Activity Over Last Two Weeks and Activity Over Last Two Weeks By Weekday.

These charts show the estimated time spent in the course. One chart shows the seven day period and the other breaks it down by weekday. The blue bars represent the activity from the past seven days. The yellow bars show what the activity was like eight to fourteen days ago.

Relative Activity Compared to the Class

Each dot in this chart shows the time a student spent in your course in a given week compared to other students. Bigger dots indicate more activity.

If you see rows of dots that are similar in size, the relative activity is regular. Rows with dots that vary in size indicate irregular activity.

Relative Activity Compared to Self

Similar to the Relative Activity Compared to the Class chart, each dot shows the time a student spent in your course in a given week. Bigger dots indicate more activity. This chart however, doesn't compare a student to the rest of the class. It compares the student activity each week to their own activity in other weeks.

A row of dots similar in size indicates the student participates regularly. Rows with dots that vary in size indicate irregular activity.


Pie-chart of First Time Access Distribution

The diagram shows you when students logged into your course and how many haven't yet.

The first day of the course may not be the scheduled start date. It starts the day the first student accessed the course.

If a lot of students log in late or never access the course site, this may indicate an issue. For example, students may not have been notified that the course has started.