course management system, learning management system, LMS, blackboard, student learning, impact, ROI


In the past decade, course management systems (CMS) have become an integral part of most institutions of higher education. While there has been a significant amount of research looking at CMS usage at the course level, there has been less research looking at the institution-wide CMS usage from a CMS activity database perspective. This article shares findings from a study which analyzes over 36 million student and instructor clicks within the Blackboard CMS across the entire campus of Brigham Young University (BYU) during one full academic year. This research reports overall levels of user activity across campus, patterns of user activity in the different features of Blackboard, and patterns of user activity in the different features of Blackboard within different colleges. The study compares the levels of activity for Blackboard CMS features that are predominantly pedagogical verses predominately administrative in nature.

Original Publication Citation

Griffiths, M.E., & Graham, C.R. (29). Patterns of user activity in the different features of the Blackboard CMS across all courses for an academic year at Brigham Young University. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(2), 285-292.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT)




David O. McKay School of Education


Instructional Psychology and Technology