UMBC faculty and staff may recall that DoIT used to publish a list of most active Blackboard courses for every term. However, we discontinued this after Spring 2013, when we completed our transition to Blackboard’s own Analytics for Learn (A4L) product that UMBC’s experience helped influence. A4L reports for students and faculty are now embedded in every Blackboard course, but there is nothing that provides a “bird’s eye view” of campus usage as a whole.
DoIT continues to leverage data associated with campus technology adoption by students to define and promote effective course design practices. Blackboard interactions (i.e., clicks on content) have been shown to be an effective proxy for user engagement that inform predictive analytics to support student success.
To highlight the instructors promoting outstanding student Blackboard use – and not as an indicator of course quality – we reinstituted this practice in Spring 2017 and are now regularly publishing the top undergraduate courses, by Blackboard student interactions, at the end of Fall and Spring Terms.
Notably, there are several courses that regularly appear on the most active list, including – and indeed instructors who appear on each semester’s list multiple times!
Reports on campus-wide Blackboard use, including by college (informing the analysis in this DoIT New article), are available to all instructors through the REX reports at rex.umbc.edu. Instructors can drill to see how their course interactions compare with others in their department using the Learn Course Use by College report.