Data and learning analytics are often used phrases in the education field lately. The ability to use the data that already exists in a lot of an organization's applications to analyze and find potentially at-risk students is an up and coming area of research, development and progress in today's colleges and universities. Data can also provide faculty with accurate feedback on their course content to allow for continuous improvement in student learning and success.
There are several tools that already exist within Appalachian's learning management system (AsULearn) that faculty can take advantage of in the way of analytics.
Sufficient use of quizzes, assignments and other activities in AsULearn provide faculty with lower stakes tools to ensure that students are learning the material throughout the semester. With regular activities, it is easier to identify at risk students earlier.
Quizzes, assignments, and logs
Quizzes in AsULearn can allow for multiple attempts and randomization, allowing students the opportunity to regularly test their knowledge. Assignments allow for a variety of submission types, allowing faculty to provide the best method for each learning activity. The course logs allow faculty to track each student's use of AsULearn - and may help indicate when a student needs help.
AsULearn provides a completion tracking feature for individual activities and resources. This feature provides faculty with a way to quickly see which students have completed which activities in the course. Falling behind on activity completion may indicate that a student needs additional assistance. Completion tracking is also a helpful tool for students. Recent research indicates that a visual reminder of progress helps keep students on track to getting their work done.
While the gradebook in AsULearn may seem daunting at first, it is another tool to provide faculty with an overview of student performance, in addition to providing ongoing feedback to students about how well they are doing in a course. There are many configuration options for the gradebook - register for a workshop or schedule a consultation with the Center for Academic Excellence to find out exactly which settings will work best for you.
There are several formats for forums in AsULearn, all of which provide another alternative for students to engage with faculty, as well as with other students in their class. Completion tracking provides a means of forum assessment, and the Q&A forum allows faculty to require students to post before they are allowed to read other students' comments. Engaging with classmates in discussions on course topics is an excellent way for students to take their learning to the next level. The interactions also provide faculty with an overview of who is learning the material and who may need additional help.
To learn more about the tools in AsULearn and how you can use them to make the most of your students' learning, register for a workshop or schedule a consultation with the Center for Academic Excellence.
Content summarized from Student support and success with Moodle tools from E-Learn Magazine, No. 16.