“Here!” We all likely remember what it was like to raise our hands and have our attendance counted for the day at school. That’s because attendance is one of the most commonly tracked metrics in educational programs.
As learning shifts to online spaces, attendance is proving to be an extremely powerful metric for online learning programs too. When it’s all too easy to close our laptops and walk away, tracking attendance helps learning programs really understand who is on track and who is at risk of dropping off.
It’s clear that tracking attendance can offer insights on individual students. If a student misses a few classes, you know they might need an extra nudge or some support resources.
But attendance tracking can help online learning programs answer some big-picture questions too. With this data at hand, programs can make informed, strategic decisions to improve their programming, boosting completion rates, NPS scores, and more.
Below, we share our top 3 big picture insights you can learn when you track attendance data in your online learning program and which metrics you should track to arrive at these game-changing conclusions.
Curious what other types of data you should collect to make students are on track? Check out our suggestions here.
Specific event data is great to make sure individual students are on track, but the real insights come when you tie attendance data together over time. Once you do, you can tease out major insights that can inform strategic decisions around class content, program structure, instructors, and more.
While pulling this data might require a bit of math (easily computed in Google Sheets, Airtable, or elsewhere), we promise the insights are worth it. Check them out:
Calculate attendance rates for individual classes, across programs, or for your entire online school. Use these insights to determine:
Calculate average class duration by week, by instructor, or by program.
Determine when you have the highest drop-off rates, both throughout the lifecycle of a learning program and across your organization overall.
Want to know why program iteration is essential to creating a top-notch learning program? Check out our deep dive on Agile Educational Design here.
By calculating these metrics and asking yourself these questions at periodic intervals, you can make informed decisions on how to continuously iterate and improve on your programming and better support your learners. Because this process isn’t a one-and-done exercise, it’s something that can and should be consistently repeated, since reflection, review, and iteration are essential for learning and growth.
Curious how to collect these attendance metrics without adding a ton of manual tasks to your workload? Virtually collects attendance automatically, with join times, leave times, absences, and more all at your fingertips.
Schedule a demo here to learn if Virtually is right for you.
Read Next: 4 High Impact Student Support Services to Offer in your Online Learning Program
Laura Marks is Head of Customer Experience at Virtually