The Performance Dashboard is a valuable tool you can use to monitor student progress throughout your course. On this page, a summary table displays each student's history of access and progress. As the term progresses, you can quickly see if students access your course regularly, review course content, and contribute to the discussion board. This information can help you identify students who are outside the normal range of participation or who need help and encouragement.
Your institution controls if the Performance Dashboard is available. Your institution can also disable the discussion board tool, which will affect the information that appears in the Performance Dashboard.
Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about discussion analytics.
Control Panel > Evaluation > Performance Dashboard
- On the Performance Dashboard page, you can view how many forums a user posted in. In the Discussion Board column, select a numbered link to view details.
- This information appears on the Discussion Board page:
To sort the entries by a column, select the column heading.
- Forum: Lists all the forums a user has posted in.
- Total Posts: Select the link to access a page displaying a user's posts in that forum.
- Date of Last Post: View when a user last accessed the forum.
- Average Post Length: Lists the average post length, in number of characters.
- Minimum Post Length: Lists the minimum post length, in number of characters.
- Maximum Post Length: Lists the maximum post length, in number of characters.
- Average Post Position: View a representation of a user's participation within the threads.
- Grade: Select the link in the column to access the Grade Center column, if a grade appears.
- In the Forum column, select a forum title to access a collection page displaying all a user's posts in that forum.
You can communicate with a class participant from this page as well. To send an email from the Discussion Board page, select Email User.
Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about discussion statistics.
Discussion analytics provide you with insights to forum participants and activity. This information can help you identify students who are participating or may need help and encouragement. You can access discussion analytics from the Discussions or Course Content page.
- Select the More options icon and select View Analytics.
- View this information about your discussion:
- Number of participating students
- Average posts per student
- Average word count per post
- Average discussion grade
- Participation: Shows the percentage of students who have participated and percentage of students who opened the discussion.
- Students who haven't participated
- Responses with the most replies
- Top participants: Students who have posted the most responses and replies.
From the Discussion Analytics page, you can take a closer look at individual discussion posts and participation.
The participation bar helps visualize discussion participation. The bar highlights in blue the percentage of students who've opened the discussion and participated. Student's who've opened but not participated are indicated with a lighter blue and students who haven't opened the discussion are shown as grey.
Select a comment from the Comments with the most replies section to view that discussion.
Select a student from the Top Participants section to open that student’s discussion post. Here, you can view the Discussion Analysis panel for insights at an individual level for each student.
You can message the students who haven't participated in the discussion. Select an individual student that hasn't participated to email them directly.
To send a bulk message to the non-participants:
- Select the More options button in the corner of the section listing the names of non-participants.
- The message panel opens with the recipients populated automatically. Type your message and hit Send.
- Each student receives the message separately to ensure privacy. No other student recipient names are listed.
You can also view discussion statistics for assigned groups. In the menu at the top of the Discussion Analytics window, the Overall tab shows discussion statistics for the entire class. Select a tab with a group name view analytics for that group.
Students report that satisfaction with online courses relates to instructor presence. Discussions are an easy way to engage students in your courses. Class discussions broaden communication and foster strong connections among the group and with you.
When you add a discussion activity, you may have these goals:
- Encourage participation
- Engage your students
- Read all the responses
- Assign grades
If you have many students, these goals become a challenge. In courses with many discussions or high discussion participation, you may find you can't gauge student participation or gather enough details. Some instructors choose to award credit for completion instead of in-depth grading. Discussion analysis in Blackboard Learn simplifies grading, so you have more time to engage with students.
Discussion analysis provides an in-depth look at each student’s discussion participation, critical thinking level, and sentence complexity. These performance-based insights show you which students who may need help or are out of the normal range of participation. Our discussion analysis algorithm focuses on a student's content and provides details to help you evaluate participation. We've automated the word count and introduced features that address the meaningfulness of the writing.
The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.
Video: Discussion analysis provides an overview of the performance-based insights available to instructors.
Discussion analysis provides a closer look at how your students perform with two unique sets of data: critical thinking and sentence complexity. We've also included discussion details for more insight into the volume of student responses.
From a discussion's Grade & Participation page, select students to view their posts and analysis.
Critical thinking indicates words and phrases within a student's total posts that demonstrate critical thinking. Twelve dictionaries are used to identify the words, which then fall into one of the weighted categories of critical thinking:
- Argue a position
- Include supporting data
- Cite literature or experience
- Reference data
- Offer a hypothesis
The weighted number of the words and phrases in each category are combined and then compared to the class average to create the critical thinking score. The score is the difference between the student’s critical thinking and the class average.
The score falls in a decimal range of -1 to 1. A negative score means the student's critical thinking is below the class average. A positive score means the students critical thinking is above the class average. A score close to 0 means the student's critical thinking is at the class average level. These scores are represented by a range of low to high:
-1 < -0.06 = Low
-0.06 to -0.03 = Below Average
-0.03 to 0.03 = Average
0.03 to 0.06 = Above Average
.06 to 1 = High
In the future, you'll be able to see the student and class score separately. Critical thinking will also be represented visually to better depict each student's scores in comparison to the class average.
- Empirical research shows disagreeing displays a higher level of critical thinking than agreeing. In a discussion, the statement "I agree with John" receives a score of 0.113, while "I disagree with John" receives a score of 0.260.
- If students summarize a passage but add no opinion or argument, they score lower than others who argue a position.
- If students cite literature, they receive a lower score than others who offer a hypothesis.
Sentence complexity is measured by the number of sentences, words, and syllables in each word. We look at the complexity of words and how often the words are used. This measurement is a linguistic standard called Flesch-Kincaid. The complexity of each student’s total posts is represented by a grade level from 1st grade to 16th grade. The text with a Flesch-Kincaid grade level of 10 should be easily understood by a person in 10th grade.
Discussion details. In addition to the calculated readability, the details include average word count, responses, and replies for each student compared to the class average. This information, along with any rubrics or criteria you set, can help you determine a grade.
To hide discussion analysis, open the menu and select Hide Discussion Analytics.