The spreadsheet available above is documentation used in my Georgia Virtual School ePortfolio. This particular documentation is used to demonstrate the availability and use of analytics and data within the course. For a virtual school instructor, I believe, data is as important, if not more important, than in a physical setting. Some of the data I most frequently use is class access (attendance if you will), assessment scores/grades and the data element shown above which is tool access. The tool access data is used to show the frequency of use in each course tool. Most frequently used are those tools which correlate to course assignments and grades; content, discussions, dropbox, quizzes and grades. What is helpful to me is looking at least used elements. I have never taken the surveys very serious in an online setting because (my opinion) most of the surveys are done by those who did not do well in the course and looking to leave their mark or those students who did well in the course and always do well. Here, that tool was accessed twice by the entire class.
One area of concern for me however is the low amount of news access. These are used by me to relay some important information and helpful tips. To see the news items accessed 5% of the homepage access is a bit troubling to me. I need to look at combating this issue. Do I use more emails to communicate important items? Are the items “important”? Perhaps I should survey and see why students do not access this tool as frequently as I would like.
Using data is an effective tool. In a virtual setting it is especially effective when communicating with student and stakeholders about progress and achievement. It is also extremely beneficial when assessing the instructors own progress and effectiveness within the course. Data in a virtual environment is a great bridge between the lack of face to face connectedness.
The above TheSIS screenshot provides data to the instructor on start and end date per course, number of segments (enrollments) and the corresponding number of sessions (18,16,14, and 21 Week). This image in particular doesn’t offer much information but serves as the portal for the HUB where data expands for each course.
As you click into the HUB you have a breakdown of your enrollments. Here data becomes more specific. You are able to see “Enrollment Type” which gives you information towards the students accommodations and/or gifted status where applicable. You are able to view session enrollment, graduation year, and gender. Also noted is the black icon next to enrollment which shows if the student has switched sessions. This is important as students are only allowed to do this once per semester per course. Once again, clicking on the HUB icon for each student expands more information relevant to that student.
The above screenshot is a communication overview page per section. Here you are able to establish new communication via email or a note for reference. Notes are most often used to document phone conversations. Each communication is listed on the left hand side with its corresponding recipients directly to the right. You are able to see past communications as well as included attachments. This information is helpful when speaking with stakeholders who dispute communication.
This is a great example of teacher communication to a student to increase involvement in the course. Regular communication is always best especially in an online environment. Here the instructor is encouraging while also providing continued support.
The above graphic is a great tool to find in the analytics portion of Brightspace. Tools like this are great for student accountability especially when low grades are of concern to students and stakeholders. This is a great chart that demonstrates page views. This is not one I particularly use. However, in the same area, I choose to use time within a content area. This, to me, is a more realistic data point to use when communicating. Two students can both click in a content area 12 times, however it would be more important to not the time spent in each page. There is a difference from a student who has 12 pages views in 12 minutes and one who has 12 page views over the course of an hour.
Here is a screen shot of student view on feedback within their course. It is important to note here the assignment title on the left, followed by grading information and then the instructor’s feedback on the right. For an instructor is important to note what the feedback section looks like so as to not clutter with different types of feedback. You also will want to describe/teach/demonstrate where to find the feedback information for students to access. I do this through a news announcement and through email communication as well.
Another area in which I direct students to use via news announcements and email communication is quiz feedback. Students are generally interested to not only know what their score is but also to know what questions they miss. This is especially important, in my opinion, towards helping the student with final exam and end of course test preparation.
In this screenshot we see the feedback area for dropbox submissions. This needs a little more to determine feedback as students can see their score but have to click “view” to see individualized feedback.
This is the more detailed feedback a student would see after accessing in the dropbox feedback section as previously demonstrated. This feedback is important especially in course where a similar type of assignment is repeated throughout the course. Students can find out early on where their scores were lacking or exceeding for future correction or replication.