Blackboard’s Retention Center
by Scott James
Whether you are teaching traditional lecture classes or online classes, Blackboard’s Retention Center is worth your attention.
Perhaps one of the more useful and exciting tools that Blackboard has included in their latest update is the improved Retention Center. The Retention Center lists all of your students that are at risk in an easy to understand format. The criteria for what you consider at risk can be customized in the Control Panel under Evaluation > Retention Center. There are four primary triggers: deadlines, grades, activity, and access. Grade triggers are very useful, in traditional and online classes, to give you a snapshot of which students are at risk.
Once you click on a particular risk alert, you will be offered a tool that will show you the students who have triggered that event and email them as a group or individually.
For online instructors, another interesting feature is the Activity Alert. This new feature actually measures how long students are interacting with the class and uses the other students' activity as a benchmark. It is intelligent enough to also know when a student has navigated away from Blackboard, so just logging in daily isn’t enough to produce substantive activity.