Classroom walls that talk: Using online course activity data of successful students to raise self-awareness of underperforming peers
- ISSN: 10967516
- DOI: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2010.07.007
Similar to other institutions, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has determined that a relationship may exist between student performance as defined by grades, and activity in the campus' online course management system (CMS). Specifically, since Fall 2007, UMBC's Most Active Blackboard Courses reports show students earning a D or F in a sample of 131 courses used the CMS 39% less than students earning a grade of C or higher. While the sample needs to be expanded and the demographic backgrounds of students need to be studied further, what if this usage pattern holds true throughout the semester? And how might students' awareness, motivation and performance change if they could know this information sooner? This article presents a new tool that UMBC students can (and do) use to check their activity and grades against an anonymous summary of their peers, which might make them more inclined to seek or accept academic support.