September 1st, 2022 E-Learning

Course creators are always looking for ways to improve their courses. One of the best ways to do this is to listen to your learners.

Of course, the problem is that many of your learners won’t always tell you how it’s going in your course. They’ll drop out, cancel their subscription, or complete the course and disappear, and you won’t ever know the full story.

Tracking online course metrics helps you determine what learners think of your course and how you can make it better.

Metrics are not only important for building a better course, but it’s vital for business. For example, if you’ve developed a training course, your clients will want to know if the course was worth their investment. If you’re not keeping track of the metrics, how can you prove it?

There’s more to metrics than tallying up course completion rate. No course will have perfect completion when life intervenes, or if a learner’s motivations or circumstances change.

So let’s explore the eight online course metrics you should be tracking and how to use that data to improve success.

Learner Performance And Progress

Metric 1: Course Progression

On a basic level, students who progress through your course at a good pace are most likely engaged and invested. That could indicate strong course design that you can replicate or demonstrate to others.

When monitoring course progression, consider asking these questions:

  • How long does it take a learner to complete a lesson?
  • How quickly do they advance through each topic and lesson?
  • What concepts seem easy, and which seem too difficult?
  • If learners consistently drag, how can I make it clearer?

Learner Satisfaction And Approval

Metric 2: Exit surveys

Just because a learner finished a course doesn’t mean they loved it. Consider sending out a survey after a course finishes (and once learners know their feedback won’t affect the outcome of their grade.) A quick exit survey can capture initial impressions.

Metric 3: Course reviews

Learners may not openly tell you how they’re feeling, but they may leave a review if you ask. You can also ask them how likely they would be to recommend your course to a friend. Reviews are the perfect way to gather feedback and find room for improvement.

Metric 4: Instructor effectiveness

Even the best instructors might waver when presenting an online course. Check in on how instructors are responding to learner requests and how they’re communicating with your learners. This is especially important to track if instructors change but not the course material. Is there a difference in engagement?

Metric 5: Discussions and comments

Online discussion threads are a great way for learners to work through material together and feel a sense of community. Monitor group discussions to examine how learners are talking about and interacting with the material. A certain level of engagement in the discussion board can be validating!

Learner Competency And Proficiency

Metric 6: Quiz Scores

Quizzes keep learners informed of their progress and are an easy metric to track. If learners seem to be struggling with a quiz, make sure the quiz reflects the lesson material properly. On the other hand, too many perfect quiz scores might mean your course (or the quiz) is too easy!

Metric 7: Quality of assignment submissions

The depth and quality of assignments helps you get a sense for how learners are engaging with your course. If possible, give learners personal feedback on each assignment (or check the feedback an instructor is leaving). This helps you understand how students are overcoming roadblocks. It can also lead to higher success rates (and reviews!) for individual learners.

Metric 8: Certifications vs Retakes

How long do learners stay enrolled in your course, and do they come back for more? How many finish the course with a certification, or how many need to retake the final test? A strong completion rate is an easy statistic you can track without needing your learners to give you an explicit review.

Does Your LMS Feature Customizable Metrics?

With LearnDash, you can measure all these learner metrics with our ProPanel add-on. ProPanel lets you track your courses at a glance:

  • See a snapshot of enrollment and pending assignments when you log in
  • Monitor real-time student progress and track how students move through courses and keep tabs on test scores
  • Manage assignments by approving or deleting assignments
  • Run advanced reports and export course data to a CSV or Excel file

Want to see it in action? Watch our Webinar replay on ProPanel to understand how these features work in your next course.

And if you’re ready to play, check out ProPanel in our live demo

Rachel Kolman photo

About Rachel Kolman

Rachel Kolman is a Content Specialist for StellarWP. She has over 10 years of experience writing and editing for a variety of clients and brands. With an MFA in Creative Writing, Rachel finds new ways to use language to tell a story. She is passionate about education, social change, pop culture, and video games. She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two cats.

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