Significance of analytics in virtual classroom software

You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

The world is grappling with a strange and unprecedented challenge to mankind. As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to grow exponentially, ensuring the survival of our key operations has become critical. The pandemic has enforced closure of educational institutions globally, impacting the learning of 300 million students worldwide.

Given the present situation is unlikely to improve soon, a shift from physical to the virtual world has become inevitable. Virtual learning softwares has become an integral part of education, in these difficult times.

In physical classrooms, face-to-face conversations, facial expressions and body language are huge indicators to give instantaneous feedback to educators about the learners. But when we switch to virtual classrooms, it is a different ball game altogether. The existing academic processes and standard tools of evaluation, may not be enough to gauge the effectiveness of a virtual classroom.

There may be many challenging aspects regarding virtual learning, but one huge advantage any digital platform gives over physical ones, is that it generates a lot of data which can be leveraged to draw out insights that can help improve existing practices and processes. So, a good virtual classroom software should have analytics capability embedded in it, to be able to take advantage of the generated data from the platform.

Several factors can be analysed to understand the dynamics of virtual learning and measure how impactful a virtual class is. The data gathered from analytics can be used to generate intelligible reports which can help the user to understand, monitor and enhance their virtual classroom experience. These reports can be shared with students as well as parents, if required to get a detailed feedback of their own or the educators’ activities.

Teachers have always been collecting data in form of marks, attendance records, assessment completion timings etc to examine the performance of students, long before the onset of e-learning. Now, with technology, educators can harness the power of data analytics to penetrate deeper into the factors that influence students’ achievements.

How to execute a seamless and efficient virtual learning process is the prime concern of schools. Their aim is not merely to replicate a physical class, rather, be able to unleash the benefits that technology offers and strive to do even better digitally.

So, let us explore the vital elements of online classroom delivery, and how analytics facilitates calibration of these dimensions.

  1. While each student is unique with a different learning ability, our education system has a common curriculum for all. The lesson plans are not tailored as per the potential of each child. Through analytics, we can identify students who are struggling to cope up through data like their chat messages, questions asked, incomplete or inaccurate responses and time taken to complete assessments etc.  The teacher can draw an action plan immediately – resolve student queries and support him to learn through additional practice exercises and study materials. Using statistical models, the expected grades of students can also be predicted, highlighting the candidates who need more attention.
  1. Virtual classroom software can generate automated and customized, micro and macro level reports – which enables an educator to evaluate the progress of her pupils and take data-driven decisions. Simple statistics like how many students spoke or messaged, or the count of raise of hands during a session, can give a deep insight into how interactive a lesson delivery was and can also give a fair judgement of learner’s engagement and absorption levels. This data can lead us to take actions like tweaking lesson plans etc, if required in future. Student activities can be tracked and increased transparency can be obtained if the software has analytics support incorporated.
  1. Educators often are worried about students not appearing for virtual classes. We may be able to derive the reasons for their absence through their absence dates, drop out times etc. If it’s a particular subject that they tend to miss out or drop off at a specific time, we can note that and take precautionary measures. It’s extremely easy to keep a track of students’ attendance if your virtual learning interface has a time stamp feature – whenever a student logs in or logs out, his attendance for that day is recorded automatically. 
  1. Data analytics ability allows the school management to review a teacher’s performance also if need be. Auto-generation of class-wise reports for a particular day can provide a lot of information to the school principal, on one screen instantly. She can click randomly on any of the recorded sessions to get a sense of how productively the sessions are being conducted. High-level of data integrity can be maintained through credentials and roles.
  1. Online assessments and quizzes are also a part of generated data with all details regarding student’s attempts and time taken to answer a particular question. These are excellent sources to know the knowledge retention rate in students. Systematic and accurate performance evaluation of the students, becomes easier with analytics.
  1. Students can do self-assessment as they view their marks obtained, growth charts and progress reports, all on a single personalized dashboard.
  1. Technical reports can also be generated highlighting the frequency of technical glitches during a session, leading us to list possible reasons for the same. This can be helpful in cases where students drop out for other reasons, and blame it on internet bandwidth issues.
  1. Parents can review their child’s performance during online sessions, if detailed student data – recording their marks, attempts, attendance – is shared in the form of reports.
  1. Through digital capabilities, several interesting activities can be used and tracked for reinforcement of a topic like word search puzzles and spelling games with timers for young learners. Similarly, for the senior students, multiple choice questionnaires and creative assessments can be designed and recorded to test their knowledge.

These are some of the reasons why aggregation of large data sets is so exciting for educators. Schools can transform themselves using advanced analytics as they can extract invaluable insights for improved learning outcomes.

Data definitely empowers educators to work more prudently, but analytics is merely an enabler – doing just the analysis will not serve the purpose. To truly make a difference and enhance the learning experiences, educators need to resolve the indicated problems, act proactively on the insights and improvise the lesson plans.

The right choice of virtual classroom software is decisive! It should be easy to use for sure! But how well analytics is encapsulated in the software has a significant impact on how effectively content is delivered and how adequately the students are monitored and promoted. They are invaluable tools which let teachers reap maximum gains from their online learning endeavours.

There are excellent online classroom softwares available in the market, apt for online schooling such as Classroom.live. It is a complete education delivery platform and is created to fulfill the needs of a virtual classroom. It provides real time-management and auto-generation of reports to elicit actionable insights. 

“Virtual classrooms” is the need of the hour!

Stay on top of the education delivery!!

brainstorm ideas and improvise continuously –

 make smart choices of virtual classroom softwares.

Data is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.