Did you know? See when your students last accessed your Blackboard site

Did you know you can see when your students last accessed your Blackboard site?

In Blackboard, it is possible to get complete usage statistics about how many clicks have been made on specific dates. However it is difficult to derive much meaning about the quality of a student’s online experience based on how frequently they visit a Blackboard site or how many clicks they make inside of it. Extra clicks may indicate confusion in navigating rather than added engagement. Often users download copies of key documents and access them on their personal computers rather than repeatedly downloading them from the Blackboard site, which appears as a single click in the site statistics.

However, knowing whether or not they have engaged recently, or at all, can give you information about if they are taking advantage of the online learning experience at all.  Many subject groups say there is a strong relationship between online participation and achieving success in modules. Seeing which students have not logged into your Blackboard site recently allows you to intervene early and encourage them to use the online resources at their disposal.

Image showing the Grade Centre column for the last date of access

Grade Centre column

There are two ways you can see this information.  One way is to access the Grade Centre, which will display the last login date for all students in a column called Last Access.  However, Grade Centre columns can be hidden or removed, so it is possible that this column will not be visible in your Grade Centre if you or another member of staff has customised the Grade Centre. Access the Grade Centre inside the Grades and Statistics section of the Control Panel.

Image showing the Performance Dashboard column for the last date of access and days since last access

Performance Dashboard columns

The second method is to use the Performance Dashboard, a tool which lists information about all users on the site, including staff. The Performance Dashboard can not be customised, so it will always have a column called Last Site Access which contains the date and time of the user’s last login to that Blackboard site.  There is also a column called Days Since Last Site Access which calculates the number of days since that last login. Access the Performance Dashboard inside the Grades and Statistics section of the Control Panel.

The ‘Did you know?’ series explores possibilities in e-learning that you may not be aware of.  See other articles from the series.

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