Instructor learning analytics

Instructor learning analytics uses verifiable data to better understand how students engage with and interact within Blackboard.

Blackboard provides a simple set of tools that teaching staff can use to quantify their students online activity patterns within a given Blackboard course shell. Using the simple reporting interface, staff can gather data on the activities undertaken by one or more of the students enrolled in the course. Staff will be able to identify patterns in the data and use these to better understand the varying levels of student engagement in the course, along with insights into the timing of student activities within the course shell.

An additional benefit of instructor learning analytics is that an instructor has access to documented evidence of learner engagement patterns that assist the instructor with avoiding uninformed speculation and scenarios that are open to subjective interpretation.

Examples of instructor learning analytics use are:

  • Identifying individual and student group engagement patterns with an online course, i.e. are students logging in and accessing functions, and if so, during what time periods.
  • Identifying resource usage patterns i.e. what resources are students finding valuable.
  • Clarifying access patterns, both timing and duration, for individual students. This can be particularly useful in the context of assessment submission.

Good practice

Key points to consider when introducing learning analytics to a program or course:

  • Start with the available services in Blackboard as these can be easily activated within any course or program shell.
  • Use the Performance Dashboard and Course Reports as initial reporting sources for learner activity.
  • Use the reported data to form insights into the learner dynamic within the shell.
  • Use the knowledge garnered from the analytics data to inform future course and program designs
  • Share the outcomes from using learning analytics with other members of your teaching team assist with refining curriculum design

Note that, instructor learning analytics will provide report information on individual students and the management of these reports must be consistent with the expectations of the RMIT Privacy Policy.



Within Blackboard there are currently four functions to support instructor learning analytics: Performance Dashboard, Retention Centre, Course Reports and Enabling Statistics. Using these functions, an instructor can better interpret student behaviour within Blackboard.

To support the student experience, an instructor can gauge student engagement using the Performance Dashboard within Blackboard, during week one and week three of a course.

From the Performance Dashboard, instructors are able to determine who has not accessed the course and can initiate contact with those students to support their engagement.

Note: It is recommended instructor’s check with their college or school to ensure alignment with current intervention plans and program management.