Elements of Success (EoS) is a learning analytics dashboard tool that can help students improve their performance in a course by providing real-time feedback and data visualizations on student performance. Developed by the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology in close collaboration with UI faculty members, the tool has provided students new insights into their course progress.


Research conducted by the OTLT Research & Analytics team has shown consistent, positive associations between the use of EoS and course outcomes. During the fall 2016, spring 2017, and fall 2017 semesters, we tracked 9,107 students who enrolled in four large-enrollment courses. We found that students who regularly checked their performance through EoS significantly improved their final course outcomes compared to students who never checked. In particular, the research indicated that of the 956 students with a low anticipated final grade (D or F) at weeks five to seven, 40% who checked their EoS, achieved a final grade C- or above, whereas only 17% of students who never checked the dashboard achieved a final course grade of C- or above.


Elements of Success has been implemented in large, introductory courses in the Department of Chemistry and Biology at UI. This spring, the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology incorporated EoS in eight additional undergraduate courses across three departments (Mathematics, Economics, and Health & Human Physiology).


Pulling and aggregating data directly from the ICON gradebook, EoS generates real-time performance feedback for students in a visually easy-to-understand format that helps students measure their success in the course by answering two critical questions:   How am I doing, and how can I improve? Students can see their overall standing and course progress as well as their performance in each grade category. Areas where a student is doing well and areas to target for improvement also are highlighted.


In addition, the tool allows instructors to communicate targeted messages, words of encouragement, and action items to groups of students based on performance on important assignments or grade items. These timely responses enable instructors to reach out to students outside of office hours.


EoS is grounded in the theory of self-regulated learning, which is an active, constructive, cyclical process whereby learners set goals, monitor their performance, and reflect on the outcome (Pintrich, 2000). By arming students with timely feedback, informative messages, and helpful resources to support learning, EoS and instructors enable students to make informed decisions and encourage them to take the necessary steps to meet their own learning and performance goals.  In an effort to continuously improve, we track students’ interactions with EoS and solicit feedback from students and instructors on how to best support student learning.


If you would like to know more about EoS or implement it in your course, please contact Jane Russell at or Anna Smith at