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Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

LMS Engagement Predicts Retention Rates

Colleges and universities often rely on metrics such as grade-point averages (GPA) and academic standing to predict student success. Logging onto the institution’s learning management system (LMS) may be a more accurate indicator.

Data gathered by the education tech firm Civitas Learning suggested the number of times students log into the LMS is one of the best ways to determine if they will stay with the class or drop out, according to a report for Inside Higher Education. Civitas Learning, co-founded by Mark Milliron, a keynote speaker at the 2016 Textbook Affordability Conference, uses predictive analytics to provide colleges and universities with insights into ways to help students succeed.

The for-profit Strayer University uses Civitas data to review its LMS engagement numbers from the beginning of the semester and has experimented with faculty members reaching out directly to those students who don’t log on often. The intervention resulted in a 5% increase in class attendance and an 8% decrease in course dropout rate.

“It’s a key early signal that they can use with students,” Laura Malcolm, vice president of product management at Civitas, said of the data gathered by the firm. “The more you focus on behavior, the more predictive it becomes.”

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