The popular education tech company Blackboard has aquired X-Ray Analytics, which is a research-based predictive tool for the education sector. It plans to integrate this service with its Moodlerooms learning management system.
Moodle provides an open-source, cloud-based integrated learning system that can be customized using a drag-and-drop interface. It can be used for both blended learning and fully online classes, and supports learning tools like forums, wikis, glossaries, calendars, file management, text editing, messaging, progress tracking, secure authentication, back-up, plug-ins, grade books, multimedia integration, PDF annotation, and peer and self assessment.
According to a news release, X-Ray Analytics allows:
… instructors to support learners more efficiently by providing visualizations of past behavior and performances at the course, cross-course and institutional levels. It also empowers instructors through the provision of statistically based predictions on likely future behaviors, academic outcomes and risk factors so they can engage with learners in a way that is targeted to their actual activity. For example, instructors can step in when they see a potential area of risk and provide greater support.
Blackboard will be using X-Ray Analytics’ technology to improve its current analytics offerings, which not only deal with individual students’ learning, but with increasing enrollment, engagement, and retention in higher education institutions.
The company’s services are used by 19,000 clients, 80% of the top 50 higher education institutions, 20 million K-12 students, and 90% of the top online 4-year programs. Their other programs include online collaborative learning in virtual classrooms, a mass notification system that can also be used by local governments and businesses, a learning management system, mobile compatibility, an online community for the parents of K-12 students, a social media manager for school districts, an app creator call Mosaic, and a social media network called myEdu.
Joshua Bolkan of Campus Technology quoted Mark Strassman, Senior Vice President of Industry and Product Management at Blackboard about the importance of an analytical component to online education:
Learning analytics is a strategic approach that institutions across the world are increasingly adopting to make more informed decisions and take more effective actions to support learners. X-Ray Analyrics technology will provide insights and recommendations directly within the learning environment that have statistical validity and levels of certainty that are not provided through standard reporting. We’re thrilled to offer it to all of our open source customers and meet their needs to improve learner success and retention.
Blackboard bought Moodlerooms and NetSpot in 2012, writes Kasra Kangarloo of the Washington Business Journal.