Learning Analytics

The Completing the Loop Tool (or 'Loop Tool') is a learning analytics tool designed to provide LMS data to teaching staff at the University in meaningful ways. This data can be used in reflecting on learning design to improve the student experience and outcomes. 

Completing the Loop Tool for Learning Analytics

There are four main sections that make up the Loop Tool:

Course Dashboard - Presents a summary of all students’ interactions with the LMS over individual weeks or for the entire course.

Course Access -  Presents access data for the content, communication and assessment resources in the LMS.

Students - Allows drilling down to specific students and exploration of their interactions with the LMS throughout the course.

Course Events - Allows the addition of events to assist with interpreting the data.

These four sections are accessible from the Loop Tool menu on the left of the screen:

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Loop Tool Menu

Course Dashboard

The Course Dashboard provides an overview of students’ interaction with the LMS via graphs and tables.

Pageviews graph

At the top of the dashboard, the Pageviews graph shows students’ interactions with the LMS for a specific week or overall across the course. The choice of view (by 'week' or 'all') can be made using the drop down menu on the top right of the screen. The Pageviews graph shows a total count of students’ access to the pages within different sections of the LMS, categorised by content, communication and assessment. The content, communication and assessment categories show the total number of times pages in that particular category were accessed, including repeat visits to the same page. Clicking on the title of these labels (content, communication, assessment, unique pages) will remove or add these details to the graph. This can be a useful exercise in order to focus on a single category or compare two or more categories.

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Pageviews graph (all course)

When viewing a Pageviews graph, instructional events are displayed to give a point of reference for interpreting access patterns. When a single week is selected as below, recurring events (e.g., lectures, tutorials, etc.) are displayed as black vertical lines. When viewing all weeks, the submission and single events (see below) are represented by dots above the relevant dates.

When viewing a Pageviews graph showing one week only, a breakdown of students' interactions by day of the week is presented. Repeating events are indicated with a vertical line.

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Pageviews Graph (single week)

The Weekly Metrics section shows summary thumbnail graphs for the week. The Unique Pages line displays the number of non-repeating views across the whole course.The Students line shows the number of unique students who accessed the LMS across the week. The Sessions line shows the number of LMS sessions per day in the selected week. A session is defined as a period of time where the time between clicks is less than 40 minutes.

The Student Pageviews Histogram shows the number of unique students who have viewed a certain range of pages in that week. This graph allows teachers to identify the distribution of students’ access patterns in the LMS. For example, in some weeks students may access the LMS and only visit a few pages, with the distribution concentrated on the left side of the histogram. While in other weeks students may access the LMS and visit a broader range of pages, with the distribution concentrated on the right side of the histogram. Unusual or unexpected patterns can be easily identified and may prompt further investigation of students’ interactions with the course.

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Pageviews Histogram

In addition to the graphs, the dashboard also includes four tables: Top Accessed Content, Top Course Visitors, Communication Access, and Assessment Access. These tables allow teachers to quickly identify the most accessed resources and the most active students (based on number of page visits) in the LMS for the selected period of time.

The Top Accessed Content table (shown below) lists the most accessed content, including the name of the page, the page type, the number of student visits and number of pageviews.

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Top Accessed Content

The Top Course Visitors table (shown below) ranks students with the highest level of access to the LMS and includes their names and number of pageviews.

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Top Course Visitors

The Communication Access table (shown below) includes discussion forum names, the number of unique student views, number of pageviews and number of posts.

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Communication Access Table

The Assessment Access table includes the name of the assessment, the assessment type, the number of unique student views, number of attempts and average score.

Course Access

The Course Access section is composed of three subsections: Content, Communication and Assessment. The tables in this section are presented using the LMS course structure. This means that all content (folder, content items), communication (i.e., discussion boards) and assessments (tests and assignments) created in the LMS are automatically displayed in the Loop Tool. This includes all resources even if not visible to students (i.e., hidden items). To avoid the tables being too busy it is recommended that teachers delete any unnecessary resources in the LMS course before integrating it with the Loop Tool. This will minimise any difficulty in finding and visualising relevant information.

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Course Access menu

Content

In the Content section, users can examine how many times resources have been accessed during the course. This section opens automatically to the Pageviews table which presents a count of access to each page by week. The last column includes the percentage value that the resources represent of the total pageviews for the course. This helps to identify which resources have been accessed most frequently.

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Course Content by Pageviews

There are two other views available for this table and these are accessible from the top left-hand corner of the table.

The Unique Students tab provides a table that displays a total for each resource representing the number of unique students who have accessed that resource. This gives the teacher a quick way to see how many students in relation to the total number of enrolled students who have been accessing resources in particular weeks.

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Course Content by Unique Students

The Events tab provides a visualisation of students’ access to each resource relative to a specific event in the course. Once the specific event has been selected from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, the events tab presents a circle for each week indicating the percentage of students who accessed the resource before and after the event. The blue part of the circle indicates the percentage of students who accessed the resource before the selected event, and the red part of the circle represents the percentage who accessed the resource after the event. The size of the circle is relative to the number of views. Larger circles indicate a higher number of views. The percentage and total number of students’ access before and after the event can be viewed by hovering the mouse over the circle.

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Course Content by Events

From each of the tables in the Content section there is an option to view more detailed information about the resource by clicking on the “View” button next to the relevant resource.

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The View button presents more detail

Clicking "View" allows access to a resource page that contains a pageviews graph, a histogram graph and a table listing students who have not yet accessed the resource.

The Pageviews Graph shows the trend of student access to the selected resource across the course as well as in relation to critical events across the course timeline.

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Pageviews graph

The Student Pageviews Histogram presents the number of unique students who have viewed the selected resource within a certain range of times during the course. This graph allows teachers to identify the distribution of students’ patterns of access to this specific resource.

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Student Pageviews Histogram

The Students with No Views table at the bottom of the page lists all students who have not accessed the specific resource so far. The table includes students’ names and email addresses. Teachers can use this information to contact students if engagement with the resource is critical to the learning design of the course.

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Student with no views table

Communication

The Communication section of the Loop Tool presents information relating to students’ interactions with discussion forums within the LMS. A number of tabs are accessible from the top left-hand corner.

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Communication menu

The Accesses tab opens by default, showing the page access totals for each discussion forum in the course. These figures relate to the number of times the discussion forum has been viewed. The last column presents the percentage of views for the discussion forum in relation to the total pageviews for the course.

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Communication Accesses tab

The Posts tab presents the total number of posts students have made to each discussion forum per week and in total.

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Communication Posts tab

The Unique Students tab shows the number of unique students who have viewed each discussion forum across the weeks of the course and in total.

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Communication Unique Students tab

The Events tab provides a visualisation of students’ access to each discussion forum relative to a specific event in the course. Once the specific event has been selected from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, the Events tab presents a circle for each week indicating the percentage of views before and after the event. The blue part of the circle indicates the percentage of views before the selected event, and the red part of the circle represents the percentage of views after the event. The size of the circle is relative to the number of views. Larger circles indicate a higher number of views. The percentage and total number of students’ access before and after the event can be viewed by hovering the mouse over the circle.

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Communication Unique Students tab

From each discussion board there is an option to view more detailed information by clicking on the “View” button. This detailed discussion forum page contains a pageviews graph, a histogram graph and a table listing students who have not yet accessed the discussion forum as demonstrated in the Content area above.

The pageviews graph shows the trend of student access to the selected discussion forum across the course as well as in relation to critical events across the course timeline.

The Student Pageviews Histogram presents the number of unique students who have viewed the selected discussion forum within a certain range of times during the course. This graph allows teachers to identify the distribution of students’ patterns of access to this specific discussion forum.

The Students with No Views table at the bottom of the page lists all students who have not accessed the specific discussion forum so far. The table includes students’ names and email addresses. Teachers can use this information to contact students if engagement with the discussion forum is critical to the learning design of the course.

Assessment

The Assessment section shows students’ interactions with the online quizzes and other assessment items within the LMS. Similar to the Content and Communication sections, the Assessment table has a number of tabs accessible from the top right-hand corner.

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Assessment menu

The Access tab opens by default and shows the page access totals for each assessment item in the course. These figures relate to the number of times the assessment item has been viewed. The last column presents the percentage of views for the assessment item in relation to the total pageviews for the course.

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Assessment Accesses tab

The Grades tab presents each student’s score for each assessment across the course.

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Assessment Grades tab

The Unique Students tab shows the number of unique students who have viewed each assessment item across the weeks of the course and in total.

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Assessment Unique Students tab

The Events tab provides a visualisation of students’ access to each assessment item relative to a specific event in the course. Once the specific event has been selected from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, the Events tab presents a circle for each week indicating the percentage of views before and after the event. The blue part of the circle indicates the percentage of students who viewed the assessment item before the selected event, and the red part of the circle represents the percentage of views after the event. The size of the circle is relative to the number of views. Larger circles indicate a higher number of views.The percentage and total number of students’ access before and after the event can be viewed by hovering the mouse over the circle.

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Assessment Events tab

Students’ interaction with specific assessments can be examined in more detail by clicking on the “View” button next to the assessment item. This view includes a pageviews graph, a pageviews histogram, and a table that lists students with no views of the selected assessment. The pageviews graph shows the trend of student access to the selected assessment item across the course as well as in relation to critical events across the course timeline.

The Student Pageviews Histogram presents the number of unique students who have viewed the selected assessment item within a certain range of times during the course. This graph allows teachers to identify the distribution of students’ patterns of access to this specific assessment item. The Students with No Views table at the bottom of the page lists all students who have not accessed the specific assessment item so far. The table includes students’ names and email addresses. Teachers can use this information to contact students if engagement with the assessment item is critical to the learning design of the course.

Students

The Students section of the Loop Tool allows examination of each student’s interaction with the LMS.

The pageviews tab presents a cumulative count of views of pages in the course by week and in total. This includes views of content, communication and assessment pages. Shading is used to highlight high number of views (dark blue) as well as no views (white).

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Students Pageviews tab

The Events tab provides a visualisation of students’ overall access to the LMS relative to a specific event in the course. Once the specific event has been selected, the events graph presents a circle indicating the percentage of access to the LMS before and after the event. The blue part of the circle indicates the percentage of students who accessed the LMS before the selected event, and the red part of the circle represents the percentage who accessed the LMS after the event. The size of the circle is relative to the number of views. Larger circles indicate a higher number of views.

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Students Events tab

Similarly to the Course Access section, the interaction of a specific student with the LMS can be examined by clicking on the “View” button. After clicking "View", the pageviews graph (below) presents the selected student access to content (blue line), communication (black line), and assessment items (green line).

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Pageviews graph

The two tables below the pageviews graph list all communication and assessment items the selected student has interacted with across the course. The Course Communication table includes the details of the discussion forums with which the student has interacted, including name, number of views and number of posts. The Course Assessment table includes details of the assessment items with which the student has interacted, including the number of views, attempts and average student score.

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Students tables

Course Events

The Loop Tool allows the addition of three types of events to assist with interpreting the data. These can be managed from the Course Events menu item.

Course Events menu
Course Events menu

In each case you can add new events, giving them recognisable titles, as well as set date(s) and edit or remove existing events.

Repeating Events

Repeating Events are events that occur on a particular day of the week, for example a lecture or tutorial. These events and the data they compare are differentiated by day, so a Wednesday event will show all access on a Monday and Tuesday as before the event and all other days (including Wednesday) as after the event.

Submission Events

Submission Events are date ranges in which an assignment may be submitted or a test may be attempted. This is useful when analysing when students have engaged with the assessment materials. You can choose exact times for the start and end of the event.

Single Events

Single Events are a single point in time and might represent an exam or a field trip, for example. An exact time can be chosen for a single event.

To gain access to the LOOP tool for your subject, please submit the LOOP request form.

For general enquiries or support regarding the use of the LOOP tool, please submit a support request.

The LMS is a learning technology service provided by Learning Environments