Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Brien M.;Slattery D.;Hyland P.
17th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL)
Sakai device and platform usage: A four-year campus-wide analysis
Optional Fields
Data analytics Desktop platforms LMS Mobile devices Responsive design Sakai
© The Authors, 2018. All Rights Reserved. This paper examines data generated by Sakai analytics to determine platform and device usage over a four-year period, at one higher education institution. Sakai is an open source learning management system (LMS) used by over four million learners worldwide, across 350 colleges and universities, to collaborate and engage in a variety of technology-enhanced learning experiences. In 2016, our institution undertook a major Sakai upgrade, which provided a number of functional enhancements, including better tools and a more appealing user interface. In 2017, another upgrade provided a more optimised user experience¿the LMS is now responsive to desktop computers, tablet and smartphone devices. This paper examines campus-wide usage data gathered over a four-year period¿before and after the major campus upgrades¿ to determine how desktop (Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS) use has changed during that time and how users (students and instructors) use mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) to interact with the LMS. Findings show that the use of Microsoft Windows has declined overall, but still remains the predominant desktop platform. While mobile use¿in particular the use of iOS and Android devices¿has increased overall, users rely more heavily on desktop computers during intensive assignment and exam periods (May and December). The findings in this paper should be of interest to instructors who want to know how their students like to interact with the LMS. Greater use of mobile devices, coupled with responsive user interface design, and improved tools, can facilitate flexibility for instructors, in terms of where and how they can interact with their students. These findings can help instructors decide which kinds of synchronous (e.g. live polls and quizzes) and asynchronous (e.g. forum-based discussions) activities might be most appropriate at any given point in the academic year.
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