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Analysis of Course Usage
Graph showing usage of course materials over time, suggesting reflective learning.

e-Learner Tracking


Although many teaching programmes now include e-Learning components, relatively little is known about how students use e-Learning material and — more importantly — how learning is facilitated by the e-Learning strategy employed.

This project undertook a detailed analysis of students' usage of the e-Learning materials provided within our flagship undergradudate Physics 1A: Foundations of Physics course during the 2004‑2005 session, based on the results of a previous small-scale trial using the Computer Simulation 2 course.

Key Outcomes

  • The project developed tracking software to integrate with the Physics 1A course materials, providing more sophisticated tracking functionality than is provided by WebCT.
  • A number of visualisation tools were developed to allow real-time viewing and mining of the incoming tracking data.
  • The analysis of the students' use of the Physics 1A course materials lead to some very interesting and encouraging results.
  • Some of the knowledge we gained from the tracking information was used to improve the design of Physics 1A for the 2005‑2006 session.
  • A research paper on the outcomes of the project was presented at the Association for Learning Technology Conference (ALT-C) in September 2005.
  • A more ambitious project, STEER, widens the scope of our work by looking at a more diverse set of courses, each with different approaches to e-Learning.

Project Status

This project ran from Spring 2004 to Spring 2005 and was funded by the University of Edinburgh's e-Learning Project Fund.

Project Contacts

Dr Judy Hardy, EPCC, School of Physics and Astronomy (Project Manager)

Video Demos

The following links will open a new window. These video demos require Adobe's Flash Player.

  • Overview of Tracking Show this demo in a new window: Judy Hardy, Project Manager at the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Center, gives an overview of tracking. [Length: 4m 35s, Size: ~1.7MB]

Further Information

More information on the project can be found at the project's website.