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Re: Analytics / Blackboard


Philip Styles <[log in to unmask]>


Blackboard/Courseinfo userslist <[log in to unmask]>


Mon, 28 Jan 2013 09:34:52 +0000





text/plain (510 lines)

"on sound PEDAGOGICAL principles"

Yes, this! Digging a bit deeper into things like word counts in discussions would be good. I suppose the more comprehensive the data available is, the more flexible the interpretations can be. There is the Goals tool, which I think could be massaged into providing a model for pedagogical balance within a course. I think I'll have a look at how that tool would work with Templates.

Bedfordshire! I think I'd been reading a news story featuring Telford just before. Sorry about that!

Kind regards
Philip Styles | eLearning Technologist
Internal: 61744 External: 0161 306 1744
C1.42 Ellen Wilkinson Building


-----Original Message-----
From: Blackboard/Courseinfo userslist [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mark Gamble
Sent: 26 January 2013 12:47
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Analytics / Blackboard

Well you got the principle right, Philip, and the person, but I'm at
Bedfordshire, not Telford. 

That's Bedfordshire, folks!


And I like the sound of the extent of your data, but as ever, it's a
matter of how manageable and informative that is, how it can be
distilled down to a useful management tool. I'd love to have a dashboard
for every Blackboard course, based on sound PEDAGOGICAL principles (are
you listening Blackboard?). As in profiling students' learning
activities, not just accessing content.


Mark Gamble, FHEA
Head of Learning Technology, Centre for Learning, Excellence (Rm D009)
University of BEDFORDSHIRE, University Square, Luton, LU1 3JU
Office (+44)1582 489260 ext 9260
Mob (+44)7720 068605 ext 6360 

BREO HELPLINE 01582 489205 / ext 9205 Twitterfeed: @Bedsbreo
Facebook: BREO at University of Bedfordshire

From: 	Philip Styles <[log in to unmask]>
To:	<[log in to unmask]>
Date: 	1/25/2013 05:07 PM
Subject: 	Re: Analytics / Blackboard

Hi all

(Sorry for the necro) At UoM we get atomic (every click in Blackboard,
by everyone, ever) data logged into an Oracle Discoverer table. The data
from Blackboard isn't perfect, but for many actions it does provide a
useful string by which the type of action or tool can be recognised. It
logs the user, their role etc etc, the time, what they did (as I say,
not perfect).

We can then aggregate on these to produce a profile, of sorts, for each
course. We count up (and often average, to allow comparison between
different cohort sizes) things like total actions, discussion posts
authored, actions in the wiki tool, entry into Turnitin instances and
many more.

(Here, this is easier:

The resulting data is quite rich and we're in the process of working
out ways to present digestible information to different audiences
(management at various levels, T&L committees, course tutors themselves,
discipline academics). Some of the reporting is inspired by Mark
Gamble's work at Telford. I've seen some of his material with some very
illustrative scattergraphs setting quantity of usage against variety of
usage within courses, layered year on year (Mark: I hope I got that
basically right?)

The main issues/problems:

·         The table is massive. Right now I think it's around 450m rows
and grows by maybe 0.5m per day. Aggregating on that takes resources and
I think our data warehouse team want to shoot me.

·         The data from Blackboard isn't as complete as it could be
(for us, anyway). Some tools are not logged or are logged incompletely,
so if the data were to be used to measure performance at all, any
omission could be unfair on someone using any such tool.

I think Mark Gamble and Telford get around the "massive" issue by
running a constant aggregation (new batches of rows feed into a
lowest-common-denominator aggregation, like course-user-day) which I
imagine reduces the row count by a useful factor.

Kind regards

Philip Styles | eLearning Support Officer

Internal: 61744 External: 0161 306 1744

C1.42 Ellen Wilkinson Building


-----Original Message-----

From: Blackboard/Courseinfo userslist
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mark

Sent: 17 January 2013 09:33

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: Re: Analytics / Blackboard

Hi Peter,

Am I imagining that you seem to be saying it will let you gather data
by tool type and roles and therefore gives data with some sense of
pedagogical style / level of activty in a Bb Course (module/unit)? Is
this just wishful thinking on my part?




Mark Gamble, FHEA

Head of Learning Technology, Centre for Learning, Excellence (Rm D009)
University of Bedfordshire, University Square, Luton, LU1 3JU Office
(+44)1582 489260 ext 9260 Mob (+44)7720 068605 ext 6360


BREO HELPLINE 01582 489205 / ext 9205 Twitterfeed: @Bedsbreo

Facebook: BREO at University of Bedfordshire


From:       Peter Rayment <[log in to unmask]>

To:   <[log in to unmask]>

Date:       1/17/2013 09:28 AM

Subject:    Re: Analytics / Blackboard

Hi Gary

Following on from Hendriks answer

We have also put in place Google analytics which does provide a lot of
useful information. One thing that the EesyAnalytics provides that
Google doesn't is that it will display the access to areas in Blackboard
by different roles. I am thinking that in combination Google Analytics
and EesyAnalytics should provide us with pretty much everything that we
need to gather with regard to system access and use. I am hoping that
the statistics gained will help to guide strategy and resource
allocation in the future.

By the way I believe that any UK customer can get a free 30 day trial
of EesyAnalytics if you would like to see what it can do and whether it
would provide the answer to your questions.



-----Blackboard/Courseinfo userslist

<[log in to unmask]> wrote: -----

To: [log in to unmask]

From: "H. van der Sluis"

Sent by: Blackboard/Courseinfo userslist

Date: 17/01/2013 08:40AM

Subject: Re: Analytics / Blackboard

Hi Gary,

At Kingston University we explored the use of client-sided data
collection with Google Analytics on Blackboard.

Just putting a tracking code on Blackboard will not provide you with
much meaningful analytics accept for the usual web metrics, such as
number of visitors, demographics and server download times.

 However, with customisation it is possible to obtain a very rich
insight in it usage on an institutional level. By setting goals on URL
snippets it becomes possible to track the visits/usage of almost all
functionality and applications within blackboard. I documented the
settings of our customisation at http://goo.gl/a7Gmh. I&#8217;m sorry
but it didn&#8217;t fit in one blog post.

Google Analytics has obvious limitation, because not individual id etc
are collected it mainly provides analytics on an institutional level,
although a fair degree of filtering can be done on a module level, by
taking the course id. It provides a rich insight in e.g. the usage of
social and interactive tools which has be used to inform staff
development and used in discussion to illustrate growing use of certain
tools. In many respect the analytics has surprised us, on the other hand
it has confirmed anecdotal and observed usage of the VLE.

One other advantage is that besides from the initial customisation and
maintenance it does not require a huge amount of investment, although
that might change over time. And it does not require much technical
knowhow, although some understanding of html and web-analytics will be

Currently we are comparing client-sided data collection with
server-sided data collection to attempt some form of validation. It is a
debatable comparison, both data collection methods are different and in
most occasions record in different units. But initial results of logins
for example indicate a very strong correlation, and it is likely that
both methods show similar trends.

More than happy to discuss things in more detail.

Kind regards,


Hendrik van der Sluis

Academic E-developer & Researcher

Kingston University

On 16 January 2013 15:36, Peter Rayment <[log in to unmask]>


 > Hi Gary


> We have just started looking at Eesysoft Analytics, we already have


> Help system and are looking at the capabilities of the Analytics


> (http://www.eesysoft.nl/) which I believe is being used by a number

of Dutch

 > Universities.


> We have deployed it on our Blackboard system, and it provides very

> interesting information, this is quite customisable. Currently we


> started mapping points in the system to monitor, for example access


 > discussion boards or wikis. The results can then be displayed

> showing the numbers of people of each role that are accessing that

> monitoring point.


> I am hoping that it will facilitate us in the focusing of Support


 > Training Materials, plus pro active promotion of Learning System

> capabilities.


> Also I am hoping it will allow us to see the results of campaigns


> changes to the system over both the short and long term.


> We would also be able to surface currently unavailable information


> statistics by role)  to key stakeholders within the University to

> demonstrate activity and levels of interaction within the



> If you are interested in seeing a demo of EesyAnalytics the person


> contact is  Michel Visser his email address is

[log in to unmask]


 > Peter Rayment

> Learning Technology Manager

> Cardiff University




> -----Blackboard/Courseinfo userslist

<[log in to unmask]>

 > wrote: -----

> To: [log in to unmask]

> From: CLAY Gary

> Sent by: Blackboard/Courseinfo userslist

> Date: 16/01/2013 03:11PM

 > Subject: Analytics / Blackboard



> Hi all - I've been asked to try and find out what is happening in


> community with regard to utilising analytics with Blackboard.  I'd


> interested to know therefore


> 1) how are institutions making use of analytics?

> 2) what software are you using?

> 3) what sort of things are you gleaning from this?

> 4) who makes use of the outputs from this?

> 5) has anything changed as a result of using analytics compared to


 > things were before you used them?


> ---------------------------------------------------------

> Gary Clay

> Learning Development Manager

> Learning Development and Innovation

> Staffordshire University

 > Beaconside Campus

> Stafford ST18 0AD

> Telephone +44 (0) 1785 353648

> e-mail [log in to unmask]



> The information in this email is confidential and is intended solely

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