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ducation is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." - W.B. Yeats

This quote beautifully embodies the spirit of education, and one way to fan that flame is by tracking student data. Student progress tracking is a vital issue today, as it is directly connected to alarmingly high dropout rates.

Statista reports that the graduation rate has remained relatively constant over time; in 2017/18, it stood at a mere 50 percent. More recently, between 2015 and 2020, the average dropout rate for first-year, full-time students was 24.3%.

And it is not limited to the four corners of the classroom. In fact, online courses have a dropout rate of approximately 40%-80%, significantly higher than traditional face-to-face courses.

To tackle this issue, educators must take proactive measures to address and prevent students from leaving their programs. However, it is crucial to recognize the common pitfalls that may arise while tracking student data. These mistakes can lead to inaccurate conclusions, squandered resources, or even higher dropout rates.

Understanding the best approach and identifying the right tools for tracking student data are essential starting points.

At EducateMe, we've developed a data-driven blueprint and platform to facilitate this process. Our insights on how course administrators can boost students' success rates are thoroughly expressed in this guide.

We'll explore the advantages of monitoring learners’ performance, the most effective ways to track student progress, and the critical errors to sidestep. But first, what do the statistics reveal about dropout rates? Here’s a quick look.

How High Are Drop Out Rates In the US?

Let’s break it down for you. Even though high school dropout rates are going down, the US still faces a huge 40% college dropout rate every year. Just 41% of students graduate on time, which is pretty concerning.

🌎 Global Ranking 🌎

The US is ranked 19th out of 28 countries by the OECD when it comes to graduation rates. 

🎓 Graduation Rates 🎓

  • Only 14.7% of bachelor's degree students and 37.5% of associate's degree students graduate in six years.
  • American students often delay their studies or drop out completely. Older students tend to drop out more.

📊 More Stats 📊

30% of college dropouts are freshmen.

In 2019, less than half of Americans aged 25-30 had more than a high-school diploma.

  • 56% of students in four-year institutions drop out after six years.
  • Students aged 24-29 are most likely to drop out of four-year colleges.
  • Only 30% of dropouts re-enroll in college.

💸 Economic Impact 💸

Sure, some famous entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out and made it big. But most college dropouts face financial difficulties and unemployment.

  • College dropouts earn $21,000 less than graduates on average.
  • They're 12.7% more likely to live in poverty compared to bachelor's degree holders (or higher) at 4.8%.
  • College dropouts tend to have less financial knowledge.

A study published in The Journal of Consumer Affairs suggested that financial educators should focus on teaching practical financial skills to college students and dropouts, especially those with student loans.

Benefits of Student Progress Tracking

Considering the low completion rates among learners, a crucial question for course administrators arises: How can we reduce them? Moreover, how does 

 student data tracking contribute to this goal? Find the answers below.

Boost Course Completion Rates and Enhance Learner Engagement 🚀

Engaged learners are 2.5 times more likely to complete a course, which emphasizes the importance of maintaining learner engagement through data tracking. By monitoring learner data, course administrators can pinpoint areas where learners struggle and modify the content or delivery methods to enhance engagement, ultimately leading to higher course completion rates.

For instance, in a digital marketing course, administrators might observe that learners become disengaged during a particular module. Data tracking reveals that the module's content is too complex for many participants. The administrator then simplifies the content and adds interactive activities, resulting in increased engagement and higher course completion rates.

Improve Personalization and Streamline Decision-Making

Learner tracking helps tailor learning experiences to individual interests and skill gaps. Personalized learning can lead to a 2.7 times increase in learning outcomes. In an entrepreneurship course, for example, data can identify learners who excel in marketing but struggle with financial management. Administrators can then offer supplemental resources and extra support for finance while challenging marketing-savvy learners. This personalized approach allows learners to progress at their own pace, leading to improved learning outcomes and higher satisfaction.

Foster Collaboration and Enhance Learning Outcomes

When you report group progress, it fosters teamwork and collaboration, particularly in cohort-based learning. This approach not only improves learning outcomes but also builds a stronger sense of community. Research shows that collaborative learning can increase knowledge retention by up to 150% compared to individual learning. Course administrators should regularly check groups that are lagging or have unbalanced contributions from team members, providing guidance and support to develop valuable teamwork skills.

Optimize Resource Allocation

It also identifies effective resources and learning materials, enabling efficient resource allocation. For example, if a workshop for entrepreneurs consistently receives low satisfaction ratings, analyzing insights can reveal outdated or unengaging materials. Reallocating resources to update the content and provide a more relevant experience makes the workshop more valuable for participants.

Drive Continuous Improvement

Data tracking for students allows instructors to identify areas for improvement, ensuring that course offerings evolve to meet entrepreneurs' changing needs.

Identify Skill Gaps

Mckinsey’s survey reveals that 87% of companies face talent shortages either now (43%) or within the next five years (44%), suggesting a significant future skills gap.

Reporting key metrics can pinpoint specific skill gaps among corporate learners. Administrators can provide additional resources, coaching sessions, and practical exercises to close these gaps, resulting in more confident and proficient learners.

Enhance Accountability and Motivation

Student progress monitoring increases accountability and motivation. Publicly committing to a goal can improve the likelihood of achieving it by 33%. Seeing their progress encourages learners to stay focused on their goals and work harder to achieve them.

Demonstrate Your Course Value

A business training provider can use data to measure the impact of their leadership development program on participants' career growth and company performance. By demonstrating tangible improvements in key performance indicators (KPIs), they can justify the investment in the program, secure ongoing support from stakeholders, and attract new clients.

How to Track Students Progress (Best Practices to Curb Drop Outs)

These steps will help you create a supportive and engaging learning experience for your students, ultimately reducing dropout rates and fostering success.

Establish Clear Course Goals

Set clear and achievable goals for your courses. For example, in a course on digital marketing, goals might include learning key strategies, mastering popular tools, and creating successful campaigns.

Diversify Assessment Techniques

Incorporate a variety of assessments to gauge learner progress. In a course on leadership, you might use quizzes to test knowledge, peer reviews for evaluating communication, and a capstone project to assess practical application.

Select the Ideal EdTech Platform

Google sheets and other manual tracking tools make the job monotonous and tedious. To make it smoother and smarter, Choose an EdTech platform that meets your needs and supports progress tracking. You can check in subsequent sections how you can use EducateMe to build customizable course structures and progres tracking features.

Set Up a Progress Monitoring System

Use your chosen platform to create a system for recording and analyzing learner data, such as course completion rates, assessment scores, and engagement metrics.

Track Progress Regularly

Keep an eye on learner performance and engagement in your courses. For example, track their understanding of financial concepts in a financial management course through assignments and quizzes.

Provide Actionable Feedback

Offer timely and specific feedback to help learners improve. For instance, after a sales pitch simulation, you might provide tips on presentation skills and sales strategies.

Adapt Instruction as Needed

Tailor your course content to meet the diverse needs of your learners. Offer supplemental materials, extra support, or additional challenges as needed to keep everyone engaged and progressing.

Reflect and Adjust Your Approach

Periodically review your course materials, progress tracking methods, and learner feedback. Make adjustments to better support your learners and address any challenges they might be facing.

Key Blunders to Dodge in Student Data Tracking

If you're already implementing the above practices but still can't accurately record learner progress or their completion rates remain low, you may be making some mistakes. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid in order to achieve the desired results.

The Case of the Unclear Goals

Mistake: Setting foggy objectives, causing confusion and frustration among learners.

Solution: Lay out a roadmap with crystal clear goals that align with the needs of business entrepreneurs. As the saying goes, "A goal without a plan is just a wish."

One-Size-Fits-All Fiasco

Mistake: Treating all learners the same, disregarding their unique needs and skill levels.

Solution: Customize learning pathways, catering to individual interests and skill gaps. After all, variety is the spice of life.

The Feedback Black Hole

Mistake: Remember, "Feedback is the breakfast of champions." Ignoring learner feedback can make them feel unheard and undervalued.

Solution: Listen, encourage, and act on feedback to show you care and are committed to continuous improvement. 

Radio Silence

Mistake: As they say, "Communication works for those who work at it."

Going off the communication grid could leave students feeling unsupported and disconnected.

Solution: Keep the lines open, providing regular check-ins and opportunities for learners to ask questions. 

The Infrequent Tracker

Mistake: Sporadic progress tracking, hindering timely identification and resolution of learner issues.

Solution: Keep a close eye on learner performance, adjusting your strategies based on the data you collect. Consistency is key.

The Glass-Half-Empty Approach

Mistake: Focusing solely on weaknesses, leading to discouragement and dropout.

Solution: Strike a balance by celebrating achievements and addressing areas for improvement. 

Data Hoarding Dilemma

Mistake: Gathering learner data without using it to drive course improvements or targeted support.

Solution: Analyze data trends to adapt course content and support struggling learners. "Without data, you're just another person with an opinion."

Student Progress Tracking with EducateMe

EducateMe is a comprehensive Learning Management System designed to assist course administrators effortlessly track their students' progress. We help you eliminate guesswork and ditch boring paperwork.

Here's how to use our data tracker for students:

Go Ahead, It's Free

Just create a free account and gain instant access to our features, no strings attached.

Get on Board & Start Building

Follow our easy-peasy onboarding guide to set up your first progress tracker.

Gather All the Data

Keep all your student progress reports organized in one super convenient spot.

Here's a quick rundown of the cool features and how they work:

One dashboard to rule them all

  • Lessons: This lets you check in-progress and finished courses.
  • Assignments: You can monitor deadlines, scores, and statuses.
  • Attendance: The attendance feature shows you when your students attend live sessions.
  • Activity: With Activity, you can track how much time your students spend on courses and when they were last online.

Assignments management anytime, anywhere

  • It allows you to combine progress tracker templates with your management tools.
  • The student progress track organizes learners’ tasks based on descriptions, comments, and replies.
  • Need real time tracking? You can now concentrate on what's truly important while watching assignments progress live.

Cut down drop-out rates with timely support

  • Get a glimpse of high, medium, or low dropout rates from weekly activity.
  • Send automated email notifications to students with low activity.
  • Supervise progress using the activity log.

Still need help? Book a demo.


You know what's a bummer? When students keep dropping courses. It's tough for both them and instructors, but hey, it doesn't have to be that way.

We're all about helping you find that sweet spot between keeping students engaged and getting them to finish their courses. In the end, those are the two magic ingredients for a killer online course. Need some extra tips on keeping your class hooked? Check out this post.

But if you're more focused on setting up a rock-solid student tracker, you can start right here.

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