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Jeff Boyer, Ph.D.

Learning Designer and Technologist
Dean's Office, College of Science and Mathematics
North Dakota State University

Phone: 701.231-5953
Fax: 701.231.7149


Current Work


  • NDSU University Assessment Committee
  • NDSU Distance Education Council
  • CSM Professional Science Masters Steering Committee
  • CSM Math Emporium Taskforce
  • CSM Technology-enhanced Science Education Group


  • UNIV 150: Foundations of Science
  • PHYS/BIOL/BIOC 303: The Science of Learning
  • STEM 709: Designing Technology-infused Learning Environments in Higher Education


Digital exhaust: Predicting performance from online interactions

When students interact with online tools, such as a learning management system (e.g., Blackboard, Moodle, D2L, etc.), they leave behind a digital "exhaust" that is collected in access logs.  Thus, it is possible to summarize and analyze patterns of student behavior based on these documented timestamps.  It is likely that successful students exhibit different access patterns than non-successful students.  Instructors may benefit from understanding how and when students interact online.  In essence, a pattern of interaction with an online resource or tool may provide information to instructors that indicate a need to intervene with students who are not performing adequately within a course. Thus, the purpose of this research is to identify students' online interaction patterns and to determine if these can be used as an intervention tool for struggling students (i.e., an early warning system).  The research questions that guide this work are:

  • To what degree does interaction with online resources predict course performance?
  • Could interaction with online resources serve as an early warning system for students who need intervention?

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