#BbWorld15 + DevCon – Usage Analysis and System Monitoring across your Blackboard Learn Environment

Speaker: Tim Livers, Senior Technical Architect, Blackboard Inc.
Do you know what your end users are doing and when? Do you know if your Blackboard Learn environment is healthy and responsive? Do you know where to start looking if you receive end user complaints about performance? In this session we help you generate more visibility into your daily usage patterns and “real time” system health in an effort to provide a better experience for your end users and system administrators.

FullSizeRender (5)Notes:

  • Why analyze end user usage and monitor environment?
  • The benefit is in understanding how and when users are using the environment.
    • When is the peak usage?
    • Report on the growth and adoption of the system.
    • Discovering new training opportunities.
    • Tracking the use of new features and tools.
  • Also of benefit is the uncovering of long term system trends and the rapid analysis of system performance.
    • Early alert notifications of pending performance problems or predicting when additional resources may be needed is a good example of proactive system monitoring.
  • The key benefit on usage analysis and on system monitoring is being proactive vs reactive.
  • Reporting Needs:
    • Who is the audience? President, Provost, CIO, Dean, Manager, End Users, Sys Admins, Students, etc.
    • What data points are critical / nice to have / unnecessary? Focus on critical data points: sessions, hits, courses, enrollments, specific tool usage, performance metrics, maintenance needs, and look to project or estimate any new hardware / software reqs.
    • How often do reports need to be generated? Daily, weekly, monthly, by term, annually.
    • TIP:  Will future reports require comparison to the previous reports? Keep raw data for comparison!
  • Built-in Reporting in Bb includes: Textbooks, disk usage, statistics reports, course level reports.  Take advantage of these while researching free tools like BbStats and customizing and curating your own reports.  The Bb listservs are also valuable in gathering up recommendations for searching the logs and locating the data.
Interested in accessing data and pulling information from Bb without a lot of effort?  Check out Szymon Machajewski’s FREE Building Block that collects data from Blackboard and displays usage in reports.  The block is available here: http://projects.oscelot.org/gf/project/bbstats/

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