Understanding Student Behaviour in an LMS


Julian Davis

Australian College of Training & Employment

Analytics for monitoring student behaviour in a Learning Management System (LMS) is generally reserved for management and academic teams to base decisions on. Whilst this is great, what about the Trainers? How does a Trainers know and understand what their Students are doing in the LMS?

We wanted to make some of this data available to Trainers to allow them to better understand their Student's behaviour, using this information to improve Trainer / Student engagement.

We looked into various analytics tools and one in particular seemed to accommodate what we were looking for. It's called Piwik. We added some additional custom variables to each record including the userID from Moodle being sent to Piwik. We now had access via the Piwik API to fetch data based on the userID and display it in a meaningful way that Trainers could understand and benefit from.

Trainers can now see individual student analytics including:

  • Total Time on Moodle
  • Last logged into Moodle
  • Total Actions performed
  • Total Files downloaded, what was downloaded and when
  • Total Page views, what pages on what dates
  • Most visited and active day of the week
  • Devices used to access Moodle including Desktop and Mobile

With this type of information at the trainer’s disposal, they can better understand how their students study and engage with the LMS. The benefits of this level of data being made available to Distance Trainers will have an impact on how the Trainers work with the students to improve learning and progression.