How to Build a Holistic View of Student Progress

June 1, 2022

While most live online learning programs collect tons of data on their learners’ progress, actually interpreting and taking action on that data to improve learner outcomes can be tricky. 

But when there’s no action taken on data collected, it can really make you wonder why you might be dedicating so much time and effort into collecting it in the first place. 

That’s why it can be helpful to build a holistic view of your student progress. Something that’s accessible even for the non-technical members of your team and doesn’t leave you drowning in data. 

But how do you go about doing that? And what are the challenges you might face along the way? We share the answers to these questions below. 

Why Collect Data? 

First things first, collecting student progress data is extremely important and valuable for online learning programs, and even if you’re not taking action on that data right now, it’s 100% worth continuing to do. But there are definitely ways to make it more efficient and get more bang for your buck, so to speak.

Here are just some of the reasons why collecting student progress data is important: 

  • It helps provide a clear understanding of completion rates and dropoffs. This is data that you can share with investors, employer partners, and as marketing collateral, which, if the numbers look good, can offer a huge boost to help you grow and scale. 
  • It provides insight into warning signs when learners are struggling. A learner may be on track after missing one class, but if they’ve missed three, there may be something else going on. Student progress data can also point to when specifically during your program learners start falling behind so you can prepare ahead of time. 
  • It gives you the opportunity to take action. When you see a learner is exhibiting warning signs, you can take action to intervene and provide support. When you see trends across multiple students, you can get a clearer understanding of structural issues with your program and make changes to rectify them and boost learner success. More than anything, the data lets you pinpoint where (and with whom) to direct your resources. 

Learn how to use data to create better learning experiences here

What Are the Challenges? 

Even if your team already collects data, we’re not saying interpreting and taking action on that data is easy. Here are some of the challenges you may face:

  • Data dispersed across multiple tools. You might have attendance data in a spreadsheet, assignment data in your LMS, and community engagement data in Slack or Discord. Bringing it all together to make sense of it all can take quite a bit of time and energy. 
  • Inaccessible to all teams. Maybe your student success team has to rely on your data team to pull reports. Maybe they don’t fully understand how to interpret that data to take action on it. This can create bottlenecks and inefficiencies, resulting in valuable time lost that could have been spent supporting learners. 
  • Time-consuming and manual. Manually tracking data can eat up tons of time and resources. From there, having to rely on someone to consistently review that data to then manually take action by sending out messages to learners can take even more time (and is prone to human error and inconsistencies). Without standardized collection and outreach processes, student support can end up becoming lopsided. 

Learn how overcame these challenges and reduced student drop-out by 50% here

How Can You Do More with Your Data? 

Despite these challenges, there are a few ways to make your student progress data actionable and accessible for everyone at your organization. Here are a few options: 

No-Code Automations 

You can use no-code tools like Zapier, Airtable, and Tableau to automatically port in data to custom dashboards accessible to your whole team. Use formulas and queries to automatically flag learners based on specific criteria. From there, you can leverage Zapier or a tool like to automate nudges to learners in need. 

Virtually’s Student Relationship Manager (SRM)

Virtually’s SRM offers a fully automated option to keep tabs on your learners and intervene to prevent churn. It’s a holistic view in a box! 

The SRM automates data collection and aggregation from across all of your different tools - attendance, feedback, community engagement, etc. -  flags at risk students based on custom triggers you create according your program’s known warning signs, and automatically reaches out to flagged learners to check in and offer support.

Curious to learn more? Sign up for the waitlist here

Read Next:Top 3 Signs That a Student is Disengaged (And What You Can Do About It)

Laura Marks

Laura Marks is Head of Customer Experience at Virtually