Using Course Activity Reports to Understand Student Engagement

By Jonathan Appiah

Find out how Bob Schoonbeek from Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen uses EesySoft’s Course Activity Reports to measure student engagement from Blackboard tool usage data.

Using Course Activity Reports to Understand Student Engagement.

The way in which a student engages with a course’s digital environment can be used to gain an understanding of the student’s progress and can inform predictions about student learning outcomes. While researching the role that LMS usage plays in predicting the learning outcomes, Bob Schoonbeek, an instructor at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen (Hanze UAS, The Netherlands) discovered a correlation between Blackboard engagement and the drop-out likelihood of new students.

Since making this discovery, Bob has continued to use this user engagement data to gain insights into learning outcomes. Thanks to EesySoft's Course Activity Reports, this process has been streamlined by providing time-series usage information for Blackboard tools on specific users or groups.

“Data helps you to structure your efforts and help students the right way.” - Bob Schoonbeek

Course Activity Reports

Course Activity Reports provide intuitive and customisable reports on Blackboard tool usage for students enrolled in a specific course. This makes it easy for instructors to see which students are fully utilising the learning environment of a particular course and which students may need extra support.

Using Course Activity Reports, Bob and his team at Hanze UAS have been able to change the way in which their faculty approaches monitoring the progress of students.

Instead of relying on students seeking support when they are having trouble engaging with a particular course, teachers can now proactively monitor course activity to gain a more nuanced understanding of what content or tools students are finding useful. Using this information, instructors can tailor there digital course content to their students preferences.  

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 14.24.48-1Image 1: Sample course report


Bob and his faculty monitor Blackboard usage both on an ad hoc basis and during quarterly reviews. During these review meetings, Bob and his team consult the reported Blackboard tool usage for each course as a basis for decisions on changes to course functionality and content that will increase student engagement.

They can also highlight individuals who seem to be underutilising the content or tools of a particular course to come up with plans to get these students back on track. The result is a faculty with a greater understanding of student engagement that can use this understanding to provide a greater learning experience for students.


“EesySoft’s Course Reports make it easy to gain simple and user-friendly insights into the use of Blackboard Learn’s tools.”  - Bob Schoonbeek


How You Can Easily Access Your Reports:

1. Open up the EesySoft web application and log into the relevant environment.

2. Click on the Activity Reports section to find the Course Activity Report, OR access it directly through         the menu panel on the left of the screen.

3. You can now search for the course or courses in which you’re interested. The results of this search           form the Course Activity Overview.



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Thanks Freepik

Tags: Training, New Semester, usecase