Newsletter 15 – Online Technology – Tracking Student Performance

Mary Baldwin University

by George Guba, Instructional Designer

April 2015

There are several ways that you can track student performance and participation in Blackboard. You can check the Grade Center for their last log on and if the students have submitted their assignments. The tools for Evaluation can be helpful. Checking the Performance Dashboard will give you a snapshot view of student participation. You can also run Course Reports. But Blackboard offers a feature to allow you to be more proactive in your course.

The Retention Center is an automatically created report in Blackboard which alerts you to students who may be at risk based upon missed deadlines, grades below class average, activity within the course below class average, and recent logging into the course. Blackboard automatically sends you an email with the subject “Daily Notification Dashboard Summary” when any students fall into any of the categories.

To view the Retention Center, go to the Control Panel, click on Evaluation to expand the options and select Retention Center.

You will then see the Retention Center page.  At the top of the Retention Center will be a red line, indicating how many students have met the criteria for “at risk”.

Click on the Red Line for more details.

Now in the top bar, it shows the number of students at risk for each category. The red dot next to each student shows their risk in that category. If you click on the dot, the following window pops up:


This indicates the Matching Risk Factors. In this case, the instructor is notified if the student has not accessed the course within the last 7 days. As you can see, the last access for this student was 12 days ago. From this window, you can select to Monitor the student which will add them to your screen on the left hand side.

You can also click on Notify, to create an automatically generated email to the student. The notification email is default text provided by Blackboard, so you will wish to modify and personalize it.


You can modify the categories and the settings for the Retention Center, or add new rules, by clicking on the Customize button. To modify the settings for a rule, click on the rule and choose Edit. To add a new rule, click on Create Rule.

About the Committee:

The Instructional Technology Committee is an ad-hoc faculty committee made up of representatives from the faculty and the Instructional Technology staff at Mary Baldwin. The Current Committee is:Pam Bailey
Ken Beals
Carol Creager
Doris Dodson
Krissy Egan
George Guba
Ben Herz
Chandra Mason
Pat Murphy
Reid Oechslin
Beverly Riddell
Laura van AssendelftThe charter of the committee is to:
  • Provide a forum for input to the Instructional Technology staff on the relative value of technological improvements from a pedagogical perspective.
  • Be a champion and example for technology enhanced teaching within their schools
  • Try out new technologies that seem promising
  • Develop and share best practices & rubrics for technology enhanced teaching
  • Recommend equipment and management for mixed use (instructional and non-instructional) space
  • This committee meets as necessary.