Education Dive reports on a new study by Blackboard relating to measuring the impacts on learning performance of using mobile notifications – a feature we’ve had available in Junction since 2015.

Researchers found that students were particularly interested in automated academic performance notifications that showed how they were performing in comparison to their peers, as opposed to just examining their own performance in isolation.

Benchmark reports? Available in Junction since our very first release in 2014. Not terribly surprising that relative performance would be of interest to students. What isn’t noted, but what we know to be important from thousands upon thousands of students, is sharing benchmarking data correlating performance AND time on task at an instructor, course and section level can help guide students towards making most efficient use of their study time.

According to Dionne Curbeam, the director of Instructional Technology at Coppin State University, the results underscored the importance of having early alerts for academic performance as a part of learning management systems, saying she believed the practice would only grow in popularity in the years to come.

“We’re moving into a personalized, customized world digitally. It’s the expectation of the learner, if they can do it on Netflix or Amazon; they’re going to want to see how data impacts their learning,” she said. “I think it’s going to become a standard.”

From years of using alerts to reinforce positive behaviors, support peer learning and help direct struggling students to support it’s important to remember that while machines can help automate basic tasks such as continuously mining data to extract basic patterns they aren’t always the best solution for high-impact interventions that drive dramatic behavior shifts, when necessary.

Curbeam said it was important to ensure that human interaction and assistance in struggling students does not dissipate. Academic advisors should continue to press students who may be in danger of academic failure, and professors could strive to incorporate consistent checks on academic performance into the classroom process.

For more information on the Blackboard study and other faculty perspectives, click on the link below at Education Dive.

Students want more real-time information about progress

onducted by Blackboard that students who receive automatic notifications on their academic performance would use it consistently – a tool that could help administrators and educators urge low-performing students to seek assistance, or rather give confidence to students performing at a high level.