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November 27, 2007

OIT Pilots New Report Showing Student Activity by Final Grade Distribution

As announced earlier this year, OIT has been publishing new reports and videos about how students and faculty actually use Blackboard. Now, after piloting with two faculty from Geography and Environmental Systems, OIT is extending the pilot to all faculty who want to see their students’ activity by final grade distribution.

In three of four courses taught by Karin Readel and Chris Swan, “A” students used Blackboard more than “B” students who used it more than “C” students and so on. OIT is making these “self service” grade distribution reports available to faculty to see if there is a similar trend in their Blackboard courses.

These “self service” reports query a “replica” of the main Blackboard server that is updated weekly. Only the instructor of record can query (and view) his or her course’s student activity by grade distribution, if there is a grade book column called GRADE and the grade type is set to “text” display using only A, B, C, D or F.

Note: If you use these reports, they may be added to an anonymous, cumulative summary of all UMBC Bb courses to show student activity by final grade distribution. Unless you give OIT permission to do so, we will NOT publish your specific course’s final grade distribution in the list of most active Blackboard courses.

Future plans include developing a “Check My Activity” link faculty can enable for students that provides contextual feedback on how each student's activity compares to an anonymous summary of all other students in the course at any point during the semester. Students might also be able to “opt in” to receive email, rss or txt updates if their activity falls below a specific (or desired) level.

Reminder: The FA2007 Most Active Blackboard Courses reports will be run on Dec. 12, the day after classes end.

For more information about the UMBC Blackboard Reports project (, contact John Fritz ( or 5-6596).


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