I thought I would post a blog to expand on the comment I made in the Ask Technology & Engineering Leadership blog started by Renee Carney. James Jones was awesome (as usual) and linked to a three year old thread that had new comments by Instructure's Director of Products - Data and Analytics, Kevin Turco. I never would have seen those posts in a three year old thread if not for James, so it's great to see someone in leadership comment on the issue.
Now having seen Kevin's posts in Canvas Data Requests count vs. Canvas Analytics Page Views, I would echo what many others have said and say that it's critical we are getting accurate mobile data reported to us. I'll share one of his responses specifically to the question of "Are Mobile App page views included"?
We have Instructure's Amazon Redshift Hosted Canvas Data Services here at Los Rios (shoutout to Jason Rock firstname.lastname@example.org for being so great to work with), and mainly use Tableau for visualizations of that data. The requests table aside it's great to work with, and running queries such as Device Usage gives us a good idea of how many students are using mobile devices (even if they aren't fully mobile-first). We have tens of thousands of students using mobile devices for tens of millions of page hits every semester here (we had roughly 4.5M page hits per day on the request table last semester), so it seems that having equitable representation of that data should be a pressing concern, and needs to be more accessible than pulling from the requests table in Canvas Data (and that isn't even fully accurate).
As I mentioned in my post, there is an entire online college (our 115th Community College) launching in California this upcoming academic year that is being designed as mobile-first: Online Community College - California. These students need have their work counted as equitably as students using a PC, and the reports and analytics should not be any different from students using a PC. This would help our students as well, as there are so many courses being designed to be mobile-first, and that was a huge topic of conversation at the Online Teaching Conference 2019 I just attended last week. I'm very grateful to Kevin for posting and keeping the discussion going, as it is certainly a concern for those of us in charge of pulling those numbers.
Oh....and I won't even get into folks like me that use Photon on their iOS devices in order to use a User Agent and spoof everyone so they think I'm on a PC using Chrome or Firefox rather than an iPhone or iPad, since we know those folks are just trying to use something that plays Flash on iOS ( <--- this was my poor attempt at humor for those nice enough to read to the bottom).
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Last term we had a Parent Night based on technology systems at our school for anyone that wanted to know what they were and how to connect. The PAIRING with the user has been an absolute breakthrough in the Parent App now - we don't need portal keys from another provider, and we don't need to be responsible for the access. It is so quick and easy, what used to take over 24 hours now takes seconds.
The Parent App has all the necessities for fast information on their students - grades, announcements and the all important calendar. I have been using announcements as 'fast feedback' for a whole class feedback notification prior to any individual feedback and it works pretty well. I give the students the overall "vibe" of a task before any specific feedback and this also goes to the parents. It is timely and means a consistent message across the class.
The calendar tool is fabulous as parents can see what is happening in class either the night before, helping their children be prepared for school each day or can be used as conversation starters at the end of the day. It definitely assists in the "What did you learn today?" question - when said teenager replies with "nothing", then the parent can dig a little deeper just from the information posted on the calendar. And all from their mobile phone. Awesome stuff!