Underperforming students who have access to their course progress via educational dashboards are more likely to be motivated by those dashboards than students who are already doing well, according to a new study.

Despite varying levels of motivation, students of all performance levels who were surveyed by researchers at the University of Michigan and Blackboard said they found dashboard feedback useful and would value continuous access to it.

Though many educational dashboards available today are intended for advisers and instructors, students increasingly find the data helpful.

This study is the first to specifically investigate how feedback and students’ academic standing affects their experience with dashboards and points to the importance of considering how to design these systems to provide more personalized information that motivates students,” said Stephanie Teasley, a research professor in the U-M School of Information (UMSI).

Teasley worked to compile the research with a team of USMI researchers and researchers and staff from Blackboard, which has recently developed student-facing dashboards for its flagship Blackboard Learning learning management system.

(Next page: How researchers’ focus questions pointed to dashboard importance)


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