Leveraging Learning Analytics for Student Success

Leveraging Learning Analytics for Student Success

During the 2016 FIU Online CON, this session, presented by Gus Roque, Educational Technology Manager, and Maggie Smith, Lead LMS Administrator, focused on how FIU is leveraging a world of data from a variety of platforms to promote student success.

Highlights of the session included an introduction to the different sources of valuable student data that can help aid in predicting and influencing retention, learning outcomes, and overall success.

Here’s a quick session recap:

Introduction to Analytics

Analytics provide data that inform people, and provide insights that might not be obvious. At FIU Online, analytics can also help faculty act more efficiently by surfacing information that might otherwise take time to extract, such as counting posts in a discussion forum.

We then use this information to personalize and tailor learning to the individual student.

Personalized learning is not a product you can buy, or a report you can run. It’s a strategy that faculty can use to implement to achieve greater student success.

Universities have long used analytics to gain insight into students through factors such as high school GPA, SAT scores, whether they are the first generation to attend college, and income. What is new is the use of analytics to understand and act on “red flags” such as first semester performance, midterm grades and early warning flags raised by faculty.

FIU is taking steps to reform teaching and support through:

  • Hybrid courses
  • Active learning designs
  • Less lecturing (guide on the side/sage on the stage)
  • Adaptive learning
  • Early intervention
  • Peer mentoring
  • More advising

Analytics for FIU Online

Here’s an overview of some of the tools that we use to give us insight into our LMS, Instructional Designer benchmarks and student support:

Google Analytics

An internal analytics tool used in FIU Online to monitor our Blackboard Learn Production environment for certain key pieces of information, such as:

  • Number of sessions and page views
  • Peak times (hourly, daily, yearly)
  • General geolocation of viewers
  • Mobile usage information

This information can influence anything from coverage and work schedules to the way we develop content.

Data Reports for Instructional Designers

Reports in the Instructional Designer Core Curriculum (IDCC) can give instructional designers a clear view on how they are meeting their yearly professional development goals.

Development Cycle Reports work in conjunction with CreatorPro to give Program Managers a holistic view on the development of courses by their program (as well as drilled-down to a specific ID).

Student Support

FIU Online has its own set of analytics tools powered by Tableau. We monitor all types of support cases resolved by our Support and LMS teams.

Information on these reports allow us to identify popular trends on how students reach out for support, as well as easily identify recurring issues in course development specific to a course.

Analytics for Online Educators

Here are some of the data tools available to faculty to personalize learning.

Blackboard Analytics (A4L)

Course analytics include:

Course-at-a-glance—Compare your course access, interaction and activity to your academic department’s average

Activity Summary—Breakdown by student including total access, minutes, interactions, submissions and grades; a quick overview that indicates who is above and below average

Course Access & Grade Scatter Plot—A visual look at the relationship between how often a student accesses course material and grades

Activity Matrix—Comparison of student interactions and grades

Course Submission Summary—All submissions, including assignment, tests, discussion forums, etc.

Student Report—Each student can create their own report, to see how they compare to the average for the course

ViVo Analytics

Provides valuable insight into videos used for online courses, including how many times a video has been viewed, as well as viewing habits: Are students pausing? Fast forwarding to end? Rewinding? Are they watching on their mobile or laptop? This data can be a valuable retention tool, in terms of creating and editing video lessons that better engage students.

Tableau Reports for College/Department Administrators

In addition to the reports listed below, primarily of interest to deans and department heads, there will be more faculty reports coming. Tableau reports may be accessed in one of two ways:




  • Course Enrollments & Capacity
  • Course Performance Analysis
  • Course Performance by Instructional Method Comparison (online vs. in person)
  • Headcount and Enrollments
  • Online/Hybrid Student Credit Hours

RealizeIt Analytics

This adaptive learning analytics platform provides valuable data to identify both student issues and student successes. Data indicates how much knowledge has already been covered and how much time they have left to complete the course. You can also identify, for example, if the majority of the class is struggling in a single module, giving you the opportunity to intervene with additional material.

To view the full recording, visit


For slides from the session, as well as other valuable resources, visit