Blackboard recently posted to its blog about how successful students use LMS tools that are available to them. The interesting part of their study is the most consistent predictor of student success. According to John Whitmer:
The most consistent predictor of student achievement was how frequently a student looked at their grades; this surprised me given that other tools (like assessments) directly and tangibly influence a student’s grade. This is an independent behavioral measure and yet is a very strong predictor.
The most successful students are those who access MyGrades most frequently; students doing poorly do not access their grades. Students who never access their grades are more likely to fail than students who access them at least once. There is a direct relationship at every quartile of use – and at the risk of spoiling results for the other tools, this is the only tool for which this direct trend exists. It appears that students in the middle range of grades aren’t impacted by their use of the tool.
This finding suggests that to change student outcomes, we need to use proactive intervention strategies. Examples include grade notifications within the Activity stream of Blackboard Learn with the Ultra experience, or the alerts provided by Blackboard Predict.
Kauffman, Heather. “A review of predictive factors of student success in and satisfaction with online learning” Research in Learning Technology [Online], Volume 23 (27 August 2015).
ABSTRACT: Students perceive online courses differently than traditional courses. Negative perceptions can lead to unfavorable learning outcomes including decreased motivation and persistence. Throughout this review, a broad range of factors that affect performance and satisfaction within the online learning environment for adult learners will be examined including learning outcomes, instructional design and learner characteristics, followed by suggestions for further research, and concluding with implications for online learning pertinent to administrators, instructors, course designers and students. Online learning may not be appropriate for every student. Identifying particular characteristics that contribute to online success versus failure may aid in predicting possible learning outcomes and save students from enrolling in online courses if this type of learning environment is not appropriate for them. Furthermore, knowing these learner attributes may assist faculty in designing quality online courses to meet students’ needs. Adequate instructional methods, support, course structure and design can facilitate student performance and satisfaction.
The article is available for free here.