How to Find Online Students’ Last Date of Participation

MCC instructors must report a “last date of participation” in conjunction with any failing grades. But how do online instructors determine the last time a student participated?

I’ve suggested using the full grade center’s last access date column, but that only shows that a student logged into the course, not any participation or turning anything in. Alternatively, you could do a kind of guess and check looking through all the grade center columns to find the last one a student has a grade for.

Psychology instructor Samantha Delagarza came up with a better solution: Run a grade report. Here’s what she told me in an email today:

In trying to find the last date of participation/turning in an assignment for online students who are failing, I found some help under the Evaluation Tab (under Course Management).  I ran a Course Report that was titled “All User Activity Inside Content Areas” for the failing students.  I ran this for the entire quarter.  It identified dates in which the student was active.  I checked the last date of activity from the report against some of the last assignments with grades and  identified the last date of participation.

How to run the All User Activity Inside Content Areas Blackboard course report

Go to Evaluation > Course Reports, click on the All User Activity Inside Content Areas chevron button and select Run.


Select an output format for your report (PDF, HTML, Excel or Word).

Set the start and end dates. For this report, I’d select the quarter start and end dates (Sept. 9 and Nov. 17 for Winter 2014).

In the Select Users box, select all the students who failed. You can select multiples, if needed, by holding down the control key while you select.

Finally, click Submit to run the report. This will (eventually) open the report in a new window. Page 3 shows a graph of the user’s activity over time, which you can then check against the due dates for your last graded activities.


Alex is online course support technician at IDS, working to support all online, hybrid and LMS-enhanced instructors and students in using Blackboard and several media servers. She's also the administrator for the MCC Blogs network. You can reach her at

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Posted in Blackboard, Blackboard Learn for instructors

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