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At Blackboard, we want to make educational data science accessible to those who are in a position to put its results into practice. It is therefore with great excitement that we announce the latest release of Analytics for Learn (A4L).  With the addition of rubric support on the one hand, and more granular tool detail on the other, A4L has become more than an industry-leading LMS reporting environment. With the ability to correlate specific tool use to well-defined learning outcomes, A4L has become the first true learning analytics workbench for higher education.



Congratulations to our customers, who are making headlines this week as they work to use data in support of their students.



Georgia State University

State Farm is providing $20 million to bring this partnership to life. With $14.5 million in support, Georgia State’s Learning, Income and Family Transformation (LIFT) program will bring the university’s pioneering data analytics work to students enrolled in two-year degree programs at the university’s Decatur campus. The remaining $5.5 million will go to non-profits and local schools to provide additional services to help students succeed. This puts the focus for the first time on students at the entry point of their college careers. READ MORE >>

Fort Lewis College

As Fort Lewis College anticipates an enrollment decrease again next year, staff and faculty are intensifying recruiting efforts to turn the slide around. READ MORE >>


Fort Lewis College has looked at the numbers in higher education and come to a conclusion: emphasizing its science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines should be the engine that brings in more students. READ MORE >>

Grand Rapids Community College

Students who enroll in developmental courses through the Academic Foundations Program at Grand Rapids Community College are trending up with higher rates of success in 2016. READ MORE >>

California State University - East Bay According to Linda Dobb, associate provost, Cal State East Bay's goal is for students to have access to the courses, services and support they need to graduate, with an overall goal of improving the four-year graduation rate from 10 percent to 35 percent, and the six-year rate from 45 percent to 62 percent. For transfer students, the goal is to increase the two-year graduation rate from 37 percent to 49 percent, and the four-year rate from 73 percent to 83 percent. READ MORE >>

The Blackboard Analytics Community site is an important resource exclusively for current Blackboard Analytics customers.  This site features announcements, information about upcoming events, and links to helpful content curated by the product management team for Blackboard Analytics. The most exciting set of features of the community website allow customers to interact with their peers, ask technical questions, get feedback on implementation issues, engage in discussions about a variety of topics related to implementation, adoption, customization, data science, and more.  The site also serves as the primary vehicle for submitting ideas and feature requests.


Feature Overview


discussion.jpg1. Start a Discussion

Have you discovered an interesting piece of content that has helped you to increase the impact of your analytics-related efforts?  Do you have news to share about your campus that you would like the community to know about?  Would you like to praise someone within the community that you think is doing excellent work?  Post a comment here!  Think about a discussion like a Facebook post.  Each discussion allows for threaded comments and replies, in addition to images, multimedia embedding and yes even emoticons!


By checking the “Mark this discussion as a question” box, you can flag your post as a question so that community members see it immediately when they log in and are more likely to respond.  You can also ask a questions directly from the front-page of the community site.  Make sure you tag your post to make your post easier to find, and categorize it so we can develop a strong archive of community-generated help content.


idea.jpg2. Share an Idea

Is there a feature that you wish was on our product roadmap?  Submit it here!


This is now the primary vehicle for the Blackboard Analytics product team to track feature requests.  Watch your ideas move from review through to fruition.


Up-vote good ideas and inform our development priorities.


help.jpg3. Get Help

A direct link to available resources available through  This is a new public-facing resource.  Check back regularly for help material for administrators, instructors, and students alike


Other Features

New community features will be added regularly in response to user feedback and in order to optimize the community experience.  Stay tuned!


Tips & Tricks

  1. Bookmark we are ‘piggy-backing’ as a private group on the larger Blackboard Community website, it is very easy to navigate away from the Blackboard Analytics Community group and ‘get lost.’  We are working with the community site to optimize navigation, but in the meantime, we understand this as a ‘known issue,’ and encourage you to create your own ‘home button’ as a link on your toolbar.


Within the analytics group at Blackboard, our mission is to help institutions of higher education to extract value from data. It is easy to think that this is all about products. It’s not.

We hobble ourselves if we think about ‘extracting value from data’ only in terms of product. As a vendor, if we limit our thinking to the things we make and sell, then we actually undermine our ability to fulfill our core mission. Analytics take place at the intersection of information and human wisdom. If we ignore the human side of analytics, the side that makes information meaningful and puts it into action, then we are not engaged in analytics at all. If we develop the most amazing and ‘delightful’ algorithms and visualizations, but ignore problems like technology adoption and data literacy, then we fail before we begin.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the first annual Blackboard Analytics Symposium. In so far as it is for existing Blackboard Analytics customers only, it is a user conference. Too often, however, user conferences are not about users at all. They are product conferences. Where the Blackboard Analytics Symposium is unique is that it is born out a recognition that supporting community is as important as the products we create. If we are truly motivated by a desire to help people to extract value from data, then working with customers to ensure that they are effective in the adoption and use of our products is as important as the products themselves.