Monroe, Connecticut, United States
An innovative reporting plugin makes it possible for education communities that use Blackboard Open LMS as their Learning Management System to make smart decisions based on analytics.
To meet the data-driven demands of the digital era – especially those needed in education and training – the IntelliBoard plugin for the Blackboard Open LMS is innovative, sophisticated, intuitive and interactive. IntelliBoard simplifies user access to data in the Blackboard Open LMS Learning Management System in the form of reporting and analytics services, and is designed exclusively for open source LMSs.
IntelliBoard is a technological tool that allows users (teachers/advisors/administrators) to compare data sets from within Blackboard to evaluate the student learning process. Real-time data is immediate, and informs decisions at the individual, course, or sitewide levels. IntelliBoard also displays student progress and engagement by effectively comparing data from different sources or reports, leading to valuable predictions/trends for learner behavior.
Current IntelliBoard clients define IntelliBoard as a data management mining tool that is easy to use, and provides analytic services and reports in an accessible manner. The platform analyzes data generated by users (typically learners and instructors) when they use Blackboard Open LMS, and immediately presents it in a way that offers administrators greater, more immediate decision-making control over their various learning objectives.
“It’s a question of improving the learning process by using decisions that are backed by precise data.”
Armoring teachers with critical information in an easy-to-use dashboard makes the teaching process easier. When teachers consider the time-honored question: “What makes students more receptive to learning?” teachers can view actual data about their courses, the content in those courses, and how their students are engaging with that content. IntelliBoard’s Vice-President / Client Services, Dr. Tonya Riney, echoes the teacher’s perspective: “It’s a question of improving the learning process by using decisions that are backed by precise data. As a former educator, if I could have quickly viewed the time my learners spent with the content I created, I could have EASILY created more effective content. I could have EASILY understood the statistics generated by my assessments. Most importantly, my students would have benefitted from my ability to view what was working, and what possibly was not.”
How does it work?
The IntelliBoard platform is designed to function simultaneously with Blackboard Open LMS or with any other open source Learning Management System (LMS). IntelliBoard integrates into the LMS to expand its capacity. Clients can easily access IntelliBoard’s analytic power via the data presentation interface, or aka various ‘smart dashboards.’
Multiple personalized dashboards are available depending on organizational role. For students, it provides easy-access to progress and performance. For teachers, the options are more extensive: automated notifications, real-time learner reports and the ability to focus on important areas such as pending assignments and work to be graded. IntelliBoard also provides the reporting tools to help identify at-risk learners to improve retention.
One of the platform’s key attributes is its capacity to provide an in-depth view about e-learning, through robust analytics. “By providing specific information on each part of the education process, we can maximize the experience for both teacher and student,” explained Riney.
IntelliBoard’s interface consists of multiple consoles and categories for various report types. Each console displays multiple widgets depending upon its designation: Learner, Course, Performance (aka, site performance). The remaining 70+ reports are grouped into subsequent categories: Learners, Courses, Activities, Instructors, Site, and Competencies. Learning organizations can access at-risk learner data from multiple points and perspectives – depending upon the report used. IntelliBoard also shows feature utilization, teacher engagement or inactivity, assessment analytics and other behavioral patterns that appear during the learning process.
Does the use of learning analytics dashboards improve the educational process?
Dr. Riney cited a recent impact study by Tan, Koh, Johnathan and Yang (2017) on learner dashboards using a high school environment in Singapore. Although various studies have analyzed both the positive and negative aspects associated with using these types of tools learning analytics tools, Tan et al. specifically focused on the qualitative viewpoint of the learner.
As part of their research, the authors described the use of dashboards as a tool developed to “enhance 21st century pedagogy, learning, and literacies” (p. 117). Through analyzing qualitative feedback from students to assess the dashboard impact on the student, the authors established that student perceptions were ultimately positive and that “[dashboards] enhance their learning in the English language and literacy domain” (p. 126). Additionally, the authors also reported students’ qualitative assessments of learning analytics dashboards included “fostering greater self-awareness and self-regulatory learning dispositions, enhancing learning motivation and engagement, and nurturing connective literacy among students” (p. 134).
How do we evolve education with learning analytics?
Riney emphasizes, “as we continue to search for ways to improve learning, we should balance our intentions against a rigorous evaluation, ensuring that our intentions coincide with the desired results.”
The learning landscape will change dramatically over the next decade. Dr. Riney explained how the current IntelliBoard platform was built as a response to the needs of the IntelliBoard client base – reflecting the reporting and analytics requirements of educational, corporate and training institutions worldwide. The system is structured around simplicity and accessibility. As soon as instructors access their various reporting tools – they are able to make instant, high-impact decisions. “IntelliBoard differs from other data analysis companies in its ease of use and the way in which it interacts with users to give them exactly what they want,” said Dr. Riney. She continued, “I was thrilled when listening to one of our clients explain her surprise seeing a chart reflect 48% of her learners were accessing their LMS via a mobile browser. The client continued, ‘we will need to change the way we deliver our learning.’ It was a pivotal moment in my career – a moment when I recognized the true contribution IntelliBoard was making to learning.”
The IntelliBoard platform will evolve with learning. Visualization of learner correlations is an exciting topic for Dr. Riney, and unique to the IntelliBoard platform. Understanding how time spent and grades are correlated is hugely impactful for individual students and teachers: “It’s all about the possibility of making decisions,” said Riney. “As a former professor, I’m very enthusiastic about IntelliBoard because I know how powerful it is.”
Discover analytics’ potential for your classes’ educational process.
Advantages of IntelliBoard
* Instant results. The teacher knows his/her students and can see their learning results instantly.
* Security a priority. Learning reports are available in real time and no data is stored outside the LMS.
* Comparison and analysis. The teacher can compare learner Blackboard data and know where the learning process needs to be improved, as well as inform a student’s learning progress by comparing data from different sources.
* Notifications. Users can schedule reports and email them to affected personnel.
* Dr. Tonya Riney, IntelliBoard Vice-President, Client Services.
* Photos by: AFP Lynn Hey.
* Illustrations by: TriiBU Studio.