emilynordmann

Is Blackboard aware that statistics tracking is useless?

Discussion created by emilynordmann on Mar 4, 2016
Latest reply on Mar 25, 2016 by cw31362

Since September 2015 I have been running a research project looking at the relationship between lecture attendance, the use of lecture recordings, and student achievement. To monitor the use of recordings, all Kaltura recordings that were uploaded had statistics tracking enabled so that we could determined how long after the live lecture the student first engaged with the recording. In the last few weeks we've been processing the data from the first semester and we've realised that statistics tracking is utterly useless.

 

The problem we noticed is that many lecture recordings showed that they were accessed on the same date, in some cases 5 different lectures files had identical access dates for weeks. What we've realised is that statistics tracking does not track how many views each individual file has had, but rather how many times the folder the file is in was accessed. Statistics tracking will record tracking without any file in the folder actually having to be downloaded. So for example, if you have a folder with two lecture slides an two recordings, all four files will have identical tracking reports - and you can't even tell if students accessed a file or just clicked on the folder and then left! We have checked, and this is the case regardless of whether the root folder is set to enable statistics tracking or not.

 

I often joke to my students that Blackboard is built by space monkeys, but this really takes the biscuit. I can only assume that this is an unintended glitch because I cannot for the life of me think why anyone would purposely design a system that was this useless - and also this misleading. Thank you for wasting six months of my time.

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