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Activity Log for Instructors

Our  administration has asked for a report indicating the amount of time instructors were logged into Canvas during past semesters. Is there a way to do this?

6 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @bwaters 

As far as I know, this is not available in Canvas without some tricksy work using APIs or Canvas Data. I will share this with the Canvas Developers‌ group for you, though.

That being said, I am not sure of the value of this data. Personally, I am logged into Canvas 24/7 at both my school and my home computers. This doesn't mean I work 24/7 (although it seems like it most days), but just that I am logged in.


Community Coach
Community Coach

 @bwaters , I agree with Kelley that while you could get this information from the API (or Canvas Data), it's probably a meaningless number. What might be more effective is something like Instructor Insights from AspirEdu - 

Community Coach
Community Coach

To close the loop, I responded to a similar question (Tracking Log-in Time?) with the following information:

If you really need this information and don't mind doing it manually you could technically download an page view report for each teacher. It's the exact same one that you can download for students, so it would be a mix of everything they were doing in Canvas, not just time spent in one class (Ex: Would include Inbox conversations or work in other courses - like training course, sandbox course, next semester courses, etc).


If this is ok, then do a search for an Instructor (on the admin side) and at the bottom of their profile page is a "Page Views" log. The initial log doesn't have that much information, but it does have a "Time" column which is in seconds (as the unit of measurement). If you'd like to use this then my recommendation is to copy and paste it into an Excel file; this will take a while because as you scroll down to copy it will have to continually load new dates/information. Once the needed information is in the Excel file you can then do a "sum" of the Time column and divide that sum by 60 to get the total number of minutes (or 3600 to get the total number of hours) an Instructor has been working in Canvas.


If you want more detailed information you can scroll over to the right column (and the top where it says, "User Agent csv") and click on just the csv part. That will give you a csv file you can download with a lot more detail/information. The only issue with this report is that it only documents a certain number of interactions (Ex: The report for one Instructor I just checked only went back to 7/6 because they had so much activity over the last few days, but another Instructor went back to the beginning of June).

Hope this helps, but I'll also stand by my initial thoughts that time in Canvas doesn't meant that much. It's more quality over quantity. Were they in actively posting in discussions or grading and giving good feedback or were they just clicking around and not doing anything productive? Total time spent doesn't tell you this. Yet, something like Instructor Insight will. 



Community Champion

Bill - As Kona suggested, our Instructor Insight analytics provide many metrics on the engagement and performance of instructors in their courses.  I've responded to you directly via email.  We'll be exhibiting at InstructureCon later this month, so if you'll be there, please come to our booth.  Otherwise, you can respond to my email.  Thank you!

Community Champion

I generally concur that the number is useless.

Canvas does provide a total_activity_time value from the enrollments API. You'll want the one for the user so you can get all of their enrollments at the same time. This is not the same being logged into Canvas, it's the time in seconds spent in the course. That does not include time spent outside the course, but for those of us who bounce around between courses and have multiple courses open at the same time, it's not really a reliable indicator of time as there is going to be some duplication.

There is an analytics endpoint that looks promising but doesn't pan out. The get user-in-a-course-level participation data works for students, providing how pages they've viewed per hour over the history of the course and when they have submitted things. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for teachers.

I do not recall seeing a total time in Canvas, but you would need it to be on a course by course basis if you wanted to limit it to just a particular time period.

Looking at requests or page views can be difficult and extremely time consuming through the API. Canvas Data would be much better for that -- if it contained the information that you needed. Alas, it has the last_activity_at for each enrollment but not the total_activity_time. That means that you can't quickly extract that information from Canvas Data. You might be able to work with the requests table, but it is so large that it's not going to be quick.

You might also want to take a look at this thread: 

Community Coach
Community Coach

Greetings,  @bwaters ...

I have been reviewing older questions here in the Canvas Community, and I stumbled upon your question.  While I don't really have an answer for you, I wanted to check in with you because I noticed that we have not heard back from you since you first posted this question on July 9, 2018.  It looks like you've gotten a lot of great feedback from  @kmeeusen ,  @kona ,  @Chris_Munzo , and  @James .  Have you had an opportunity to review their comments?  Did any of the feedback they offered help to answer your question?  Or, are you still looking for some help and/or solutions here?  If you feel that one of the above individuals has helped to answer your question, please go ahead and click the "Mark Correct" button next to that person's reply.  However, if you are still looking for some help from the Community with your question, please come back to this thread to post an update below so that someone from the Community might be able to help you out.  For the time being, I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered" because we have not heard back from you for five months and because there hasn't been any new activity in this topic for the same amount of time.  However, that will not prevent you or others from posting additional questions and/or comments below that are related to this topic.  I hope that's alright with you, Bill.

Also, I wanted to let you know that I've shared your question with the Data and Analytics‌ group here in the Canvas Community (in addition to the group that Kelley shared).  If you are not following this group, please use the link that I have provided, and then click on the "Follow" button at the top right corner of the screen.  There will also be an "Actions" button next to the "Follow" button.  Click "Actions", and then choose "Join group".  I hope this will be helpful to you as well.

Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.