How Data From Your LMS Can Impact Student Success

Oral Roberts University started collecting data from students through the use of Fitbits and Garmin vivofits.These devices would track the students’ movement, heart rate and sleep pattern that would then be recorded into the university’s gradebook, D2L. The results of this data would be used to determine whether or not students should be more physically active. The main idea of this purpose is to show how important it is to be able to collect data and have it make a difference in decision making. IT leaders share 8 ways to make use of the data coming out campus learning management systems:

Adopt a Tool That Anybody Can Use

Heads of enrollment management and institutional research went to several meetings to help build a “robust reporting and analytics environment”. They would try their best to answer questions on the fly.

Use Analytics to Identify Faculty Innovation

John Fritz, assistant VP of instructional technology & new media, started to come up with ways to understand how faculty were using the application to obtain information that his administrators wanted. Fritz found Tim Hardy, an accounting instructor. Hardy set up preconditions in his LMS for his students to pass before moving on to other course material. For example, he would require his students to read the chapter, watch a video and score a full score on a quiz before moving on. This resulted in a 20% increase in students’ finals.

Help People Refocus With Facts

Initially, Hardy’s students were not in favor of the preconditions to move on to other class material. However, the important aspect of it all was that the results showed improvement. The same applies for faculty members – they need to push through the resistance of their students and own practices.

Promote Student Ownership of Learning

The students tend to get more motivated when they are able to see how they are doing compared to other students in their class. Fritz classifies LMS usage in three levels: document repository, communication and assessments. The assessments level is where students are able to see their grades and compare them to other students. The “Check My Activity” feature allows students to do just that.


Leverage Analytics for Highest Impact

One of the key drivers to long term institutional success is focusing on what’s most critical to get students through. Not only is it important for universities to keep track of which courses have the most failures and withdrawals, but also examine the outcome of students going through gateway courses. Fritz mentions that in UMBC, faculty reverse engineer successful courses and incorporate ideas from them into their own.

Get Access to More Data

It is important for universities to have access to all of the data related to their courses. Utah State University had access to for years’ worth of accumulated LMS data which “opened up some pretty incredible opportunities” and they “got no end to what questions we want to ask”

Make Data More Reachable

It is also invaluable to make sure that students don’t get lost in a course. Professors would need to have access to see how many students are turning in assignments, if they are last minute or late, and how many assignments were missed. After that data is collected, the next step would be sending messages to students who have struggled with their assignments to make sure that the professor actually cares.

Continually Seek New Ways to Expand LMS Data Usage

The university is able to track how students navigate through their courses. A faculty member is making use of this data for promotion and tenure. He wants to make the course better and decrease the ambiguity


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