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Curtin University

Blackboard Analytics

Blackboard Analytics is an analysis and reporting tool that focuses on the core online learning environment at Curtin.

Blackboard Analytics allows staff to run reports and display dashboards that are designed to provide them with insights into the way in which the Blackboard learning environment is being used. A key goal of the Blackboard Analytics initiative at Curtin is to drive a ‘data hunger’ from staff to facilitate improvements in learning and teaching.

How can I use Blackboard Analytics?

Blackboard Analytics offers three levels of access for staff:

  • Level 1 – Integrated

    Level 1 or Integrated access is automatically available to all Unit Coordinators at Curtin through their individual Blackboard Units.
  • Level 2 – On-Demand

    Level 2 or On-Demand access is for School leaders or other staff with responsibility for overseeing the activities at a School or whole-of-university level.
  • Level 3 – Custom

    Level 3 or Custom access is for Curtin Learning and Teaching staff. Custom dashboards may also be developed for specific stakeholders groups.

Blackboard Analytics Integrated Reports

All staff with access to the Control Panel within a Blackboard Unit will have access to the Level 1 Integrated Reports. These reports can be accessed by opening the Evaluation sub-section in the Course Management Control Panel in Blackboard and clicking Course Analytics.

There are four standard reports that are available for each Blackboard Unit:

A fifth report is also accessible by drilling into the detail of the other reports.

Use Case Timeline Action
Identify students who have not logged on
[ Detailed Unit Overview Report ]

End of week 1 of Study Period

Contact students who have not yet accessed the Unit
Identify students with low interactions
[ Activity Matrix Report ]
End of week 3 of Study Period Contact students with low interactions

Identify students with concerning learning outcomes following assessments
[ Unit Access & Grade Scatter Plot Report ]

After completion of assessments Contact students identified
Review resource utilisation
[ Unit Resource Accesses Report ]
At end of Study Period Review Unit Design and Learning Resources
Review grade spread
[ Activity and Grade Scatter Plot Report ]
At end of Study Period  

Using Grade Centre

Many of the Blackboard Analytics reports rely on use of the Grade Centre within Blackboard Units. At Curtin it is mandatory to use the Grade Centre and to configure Final Mark and Final Grade columns so that student grades can be extracted to Student One.

The Grade Centre Final Mark Column is a flag that must be set by a Unit Coordinator in a Blackboard Unit. This ensures that Final Marks are transferred to Student One at the end of the Study Period. Note that the calculation in the Final Mark column can be changed at any time; this can be useful if a Unit Coordinator wants to plot interim assessment results against Unit Accesses.

For more information about the Final Mark and Final Grade columns, refer to the guidelines provided by Curtin Learning and Teaching.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Blackboard Analytics reports are generated dynamically based on the data resident in the Blackboard Analytics data warehouse. This data is extracted from Blackboard Learn and Curtin’s data repositories on a nightly basis, meaning that the reports are indicative of the data from the day before they are generated.

There are a few reasons why the Blackboard Analytics reporting may not load or display correctly. The most common reasons are:

  • The Final Mark column has not been configured in the Grade Centre.
    Blackboard Analytics relies on the use of Grade Centre, specifically the designation of the Final Mark column as the External Grade. For more information about the Final Mark and Final Grade columns, refer to the guidelines provided by Curtin Learning and Teaching.
  • Old Student One Availabilities are stilled attached to the Blackboard Unit in OLAS.
    Student enrolments in Blackboard Units are populated based on the S1 availabilities that are attached within OLAS. If old availabilities remain attached, the data provided from Curtin’s data repositories on a nightly basis will likely be incorrect. To fix this problem you should remove old availabilities in OLAS. Blackboard Analytics reports will be updated the following day after the nightly data transfer.
  • Students have been de-provisioned from the Blackboard Unit.
    Following the completion of a Study Period, students will be automatically Disabled (14 days after the Study Period ends) and then subsequently automatically Removed (28 days after the Study Period ends). The reports will not display students that are Disabled.

If your report does not look right, please contact Learning Technology Support providing details of the Blackboard Course ID.

Blackboard Units that comprise two or more Student One Availabilities will typically function normally. The reports will simply amalgamate the student cohorts enrolled in each Availability.

At Curtin it is a common practice for Unit Coordinators to recycle their Blackboard Units rather than generate new ones each Study Period. The impact of this is that some artifacts from previous Study Periods can influence the Blackboard Analytics reports. For example, occasionally students will not be de-provisioned and will therefore be included in the reports.

The data contained within Blackboard Analytics is securely stored within Blackboard’s Managed Hosting environment. The Level 1 or Integrated reports are only available to Unit Coordinators and other staff with Teaching access to individual Blackboard units.

The data that is stored within Blackboard Analytics is the following:

  • Administrative information relating to teaching units and enrolments;
  • Learning design information relating to the structure and use of tools within Blackboard units;
  • Assessment information relating to the performance of students, i.e. Grade Centre data;
  • Login and activity interaction data for students and staff; and
  • Basic demographic information for students.