Increasing LMS Adoption

San Diego State University increased tool adoption and maximized LMS usage with Impact’s Messaging and Support structure.

Linda Woods

Instructional Designer

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San Diego State University is an American public research university with over 30,000 students. Their LMS team has been using all 3 of the Impact pillars: Reports, Messaging, and the Impact Support Center to achieve their institutional LMS goals.

LMS Goals at San Diego State University

Every institution’s goal is to get the most out of its Learning Management System (LMS) to ensure that students and faculty are using this technology to its full extent. Linda Woods, an Instructional Designer at San Diego State University (SDSU), and her team wanted to improve the effectiveness of their support process online. There were several things Linda and her team needed in order to accomplish their goals. They needed a detailed understanding of how their LMS was being used, a simple way to measure the effectiveness of their training, and a better way to reach out to their end-users.

In addition, SDSU knew that faculty were not making the best use of their LMS, but this was especially noticeable for the grade center tool. They tried a lot of different options from workshops to university-wide announcements. However, nothing seemed to do the trick, they still had trouble getting their users on the grade center. The root of the problem seemed to lie in the inability to provide the right support at the right time to the right user.

Insights from Impact Reports

Impact uses insights gathered from monitors throughout your LMS to provide in-depth reports about the usage and status of your EdTech tools. Impact Reports allow Linda and her team to have a clear picture of how Blackboard is being used by students and faculty.

One of the biggest surprises for SDSU was discovering that certain tools they never thought to focus on were being used heavily. In contrast, they discovered that the tools they were training people for were not being used enough. The support team now uses their resources on the relevant tools and is better prepared to support users.

Another additional benefit to the insights that Impact provides is finding out how instructors are using tools and where they perform the strongest. Linda would always hear who was having problems but never who was doing well. Impact reporting allows you to find your champion users. You can find out who is using a specific tool the most and if they are using it well. Linda and her team are now able to see which instructors are the best to collaborate with for faculty training or workshops.  

“Faculty listen to faculty more than they listen to instructional designers or technical support.”

Maximizing LMS Usage with Impact Messaging

To address SDSU’s struggle to get faculty to use their LMS to its full potential, Impact messaging was introduced.  The grade center tool seemed to be a specific focus for SDSU as it was a vital communication tool for students and teachers. Impact messaging allowed SDSU to place role and context-specific messages to guide and encourage instructors on how to properly use the grade center tool.

This proactive message with resources was placed at a user’s crucial action moment

By placing a message with the right information directly within the Blackboard environment, at the moment when faculty were actually navigating through the grade center page, adoption of this tool went up significantly. How significant? After 2 weeks of trying out this message, grade center adoption went up by over 264%.

“Turns out supporting the user at the right time is extremely important in increasing adoption.”

Looking to the Future

After improving support Linda and her team want to use Impact to do just that. With Impact reports, she will take a deeper look at how Blackboard is being used by instructors and students. Tool adoption, course activity, and user activity reports will be good indicators of the LMS status and whether there needs to be any shift in the long-term strategy. By sharing these reports with senior executives, there can be data-driven action in deciding how to shape future investments in EdTech. In the meantime, Impact messaging and the Impact Support Center will encourage an increase in LMS adoption and improve overall satisfaction for all users.

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