Over the past year, Blackboard has seen much promise in the emerging area of learning analytics to positively impact education. Last year, we took the bold step of providing our clients with documentation of the Blackboard Learn database which can be used to determine where to focus training efforts or gain insight into how and to what extent the system is used. Earlier this year, we also announced the acquisition of iStrategy, now Blackboard Analytics, whose solution allows institutional leadership to use data warehousing to inform and improve decision-making. Both of these complement the existing reporting capabilities of the Blackboard Outcomes Assessment solution. This year at the Blackboard Developers Conference, our keynote speaker will highlight one of the most compelling uses of learning analytics we’ve seen to-date. John Fritz, Assistant VP for Instructional Technology and New Media at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, is a pioneer in this space having explored the previously-hidden patterns and trends buried within Blackboard Learn’s user activity data. To highlight just one example, the data he’s analyzed over the past three years shows that students receiving a grade of D or F interact with the LMS almost 40% less than those who receive a C or above. Check out this demo of the Check My Activity tool from EDUCAUSE Quarterly and his latest publication appearing in Internet and Higher Education called “Classroom walls that talk: Using online course activity data of successful students to raise self-awareness of underperforming peers.” We sat down with John earlier this week for a quick preview of his session: Join us at the 2011 Blackboard Developers Conference to learn more about John’s work and take your next steps towards getting the most out of your existing investments in Blackboard technologies.