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Monitoring Concourse usage

March 23, 2010

Would you like to know how your students are using the resources you post online? Concourse (Blackboard Vista at Notre Dame) provides extensive data about which students are using the system and which items are being used.

To access this information, go to the TEACH tab and click “Tracking.” There are seven different reports and all of the data can be exported. Here are the three reports I find most useful:

  1. Tool Usage – a summary of how often various tools are used (in my course the assignment tool wins). This is an overall reality check that can help you see how well you have used a tool.
  2. Course Item Usage – details on each item (quiz, assessment, web link, file, etc.) in the course. This report can help identify which items are the most (and least) useful.
  3. Student Tracking – details on the activity of each student: first and last access, number of sessions, total time, discussion posts, web links clicked, files viewed and more.

Student tracking report excerpt

The student tracking report is perhaps the most valuable. At the beginning of the semester it lets you know which students have been able to log in. If you are using the discussion tool, this report tells you which students are reading and posting messages. When individuals have problems in a course, you may be able to remind them about materials they are not using.

If you plan to use Concourse tracking reports for grading purposes, I recommend letting students know ahead of time that these kinds of data available are available to you.

For more details, I’m going to refer you once more to the excellent materials at Utah State, specifically the video on tracking.

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