We academic technologists often get asked this question, and the answer is – like so much in life – not simple. For example, on the one hand, as noted in this new Educause Review article, numerous studies have shown a correlation between frequency of student use of course web sites (i.e., the LMS, or learning management system, such as Blackboard or Canvas) and academic achievement. However, it’s difficult to determine whether this correlation reflects a cause-effect relationship.
As discussed in the article, Chico State University, in California, is engaged in an in-depth study of this question, looking at the influence of various factors, including student income-level.
In the article, the authors discuss some of the difficulties extracting meaningful data from their LMS – wait for it – Blackboard Vista! Happily, the analytics on student/LMS interaction that are offered by ECLearn/Canvas are much more user friendly and helpful. For more information about Canvas analytics, check out this guide.