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Student Activity Report: Student Time Log

Student Activity Report: Student Time Log

(6)
There are many reasons and uses for a Student Activity Report/Analytics that demonstrates the amount of time a student spent in an activity.  This Time Spent data should be available for both Instructors and Students to access and produce a report from.  Here are a couple use cases.

 

When looking at student success (or lack of success), it is great to see participation, but the page views is of dubious value. If a student simply clicks through pages, they get counted the same as someone who actually spent time reading the content of a page. I know we can see the time spent if we look at the login report (which I think needs to be more robust rather than only giving us the start time for the last time a page was viewed), but I would like to see something such as total time spent in course or total time each day etc. on the course analytics page along with participation and page views.

from INGRID PURRENHAGE

 

We have a state funded program that requires students to present a log of the time they spend in the online environment.  If they do not complete so many hours a week they lose their funding.  We have looked at the page view log available under the student account, but it does not give a solid login and logout point and the students cannot access it.

It would be helpful if students could produce their own activity report and if the report indicated how much time was spent in the course environment per day.

Copied from Previous Community

Original Poster:  Renee Carney

Many thanks to the following contributors: Betsy Walker, Kona Jones, Beth Young, Hilary Scharton

34 Comments
purreni
Community Member

Log reports are very important. I would like to see a greater depth of report available to instructors (not just the start time of the last time a student clicked on a page). I can also see where students might need this so they should have access too.

In addition I would like to see a "time spent in the course" available in the Analytics page.

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

While I understand the reasons this information would be helpful, I wonder how accurate it really would be.  What happens if a student logs in to a course, decides to leave their computer (still logged in) for "x" amount of time, and then comes back to work on course material.  How much time did that student really spend in the course?  The clock is still ticking even though the student moved away from the computer to do other things.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @chofer ​ this was my thought as well. Total time in a course doesn't mean anything unless you can view it relative to the activity that was going on at the same time. Similar to the new quiz auditing logs - they don't just show time, but a little about the activity that was taking place during that time - including whether a student was likely viewing another page at the same time.

purreni
Community Member

This is true, but by being able to see number of participations, number of page views and

time spent, you can get a general sense. Then if you really need to look you can go to the

student log report and if we are able to have greater information -- be able to drill down

and see for example how long they spent on a page on a certain date -- that would be

sufficient.

So if a student spent 9 hours on a page... they most likely left the computer on while

logged in. If they had 100 page views but spent under a second on a page that also tells

us something -- we need all the data to form an idea of what the student is doing. I agree

that just total time or time on that day is not enough on its own.

Ingrid

>>> On 5/1/2015 at 9:11 AM, in message

<105-4330-3-2160-1430485816256.jive.jivemailuser@https://community.canvaslms.com>, chofer

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

This has been a perennial conversation connected with every LMS I have used over the years.  Some give better data than others.  I would agree with all of you that looking at time on page, number of page views per hour, etc is not a silver bullet that should used as a solitary measure but more by looking at all the data you have access you can often get a more general sense of how a student is doing, how much time spent on task compared to peers, etc.

I'm wondering with respect to this link of inquiry, what opportunities Canvas Studio: Hosted data service​ will bring?

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

"So if a student spent 9 hours on a page... they most likely left the computer on while logged in. If they had 100 page views but spent under a second on a page that also tells us something." - YES! I totally agree!

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

I've watched students in labs doing just that - sitting reading a text book while occasionally looking up to click around in the course just to generate hits.  True story!

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

A few years ago we had mandated online ethics training for all state employees. I've taken a few ethics courses and have high reading comprehension, so I was able to complete the training pretty quickly with a 100% the first time through. Afterwards I got a letter in the mail stating I was not in compliance because I didn't take long enough to go through the training. They made me go back through the training and this time I had to literally watch the clock and make sure I was sitting on each page long enough for the numbers to show I adequately reviewed the content before moving to the next page. So no, I'm not a big fan of focusing on time spent doing something equaling quality of learning/understanding. Smiley Wink

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

That? is lame.

purreni
Community Member

Kona, I do agree that time spent does not necessarily equate with learning. However there

are some programs where x number of hours are required and it must be documented. If the

course is face to face the students must sign in and stay for the entire time and sign out

thus earning the hours. If online you get situations like yours where a certain amount of

time spent is required.

Also in general, I personally do not equate more time spent equally more stuff learned.

But when I look at a low grade earned on a test and then see that the student spent 30

minutes in the course including taking the test... I am not surprise about the low grade.

It is clear that the student quickly clicked through the material and most likely made no

attempt to read the text. If this student were to ask for help, my first suggestion would

be to actually spend time with the material.

How you use the information (log time, or detailed log report, or time spent on each

page) will depend on your situation. But it is really handy to have that information.

Ingrid

>>> On 5/1/2015 at 12:59 PM, in message

<105-4366-3-2204-1430499516886.jive.jivemailuser@https://community.canvaslms.com>, kona

anthonem
Community Contributor

There's a great discussion here about the usefulness of this information. I agree it's not always the most helpful information and can actually lead to misguided assessment of online participation, but as purreni has mentioned, this information can be very useful when creating an overall picture of student engagement online.

themidiman
Community Champion

I'm not sure if this is the right feature request to vote up, but I'll add my two cents: I'm finding that more often than not for situations of a student's word vs. an instructor's that the instructors don't have enough tools at their disposal to validate a student's assertion that they were attempting to submit an online assignment at a certain time. Instructors sometimes want to know all the times the student was on a certain page or attempting to interact with the online submission method set up for that assignment (file upload, etc.). They have been trying to use the activity report via the People tab for a student and it only shows the last access time and whether or not they participated. Instead they contact an admin person who has access to their full activity report and each request made to Canvas via their supported browser of choice. I have to download the .csv output of that activity log and narrow it down in a pseudo report so the instructor can then go back and make a better informed decision on what to do with missing assignments and student claims that they had attempted to do them prior to a deadline.

So I voted up because it seems like this feature might include this. If it's not, then I will submit a separate feature request.

purreni
Community Member

Thank you Jeffrey Anderson... I don't know if this request should be in two parts, but my

idea was that A) instructors need to be able to drill down to see student activity and

interaction when needed, and B) instructors will be able to get a much better sense of the

student's interactions and participation if they have time in course along with the number

of pages viewed and number of participations. None of those 3 items is very helpful on its

own, but the 3 together can provide a good sense of what the student is doing. Then, if

needed, the instructor can drill down into the more robust activity report (A) for much

greater detail.

Ingrid

>>> On 5/5/2015 at 4:26 PM, in message

<105-4830-3-2171-1430857517529.jive.jivemailuser@https://community.canvaslms.com>,

themidiman
Community Champion

purreni​my contribution to this feature request is definitely part of yours if your 'A' portion of your idea is part of this possible feature addition. If that's the part that gets the attention of the Canvas community and developers, then I believe I have voted in the right area. It would be nice to know from the community admins if they see this differently.  @scottdennis , what do you think? Is it worth posting a separate feature request for more detailed student access report for instructors or something to that effect, or will it split the supporters of this idea?

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

Good Question @Jeffrey.  Reading through the original post and all the subequent replies I have a hard time distinguising the intent.  A request for a more detailed student access report might gain more traction.  I'd say lets wait and see how this one plays out.  If it doesn't gain much traction, I'd be happy to help you and Ingrid and anyone else interested in trying to write another one that might get more interest.

stevenwilliams
Community Participant

This functionality may also be relevant to the Course Analytics - Reporting feature request. The core issue that my university would be interested in addressing  would be giving Instructors a course-level permission to see something like the Page Views that are currently displayed to administrators only.

mlewis23
Community Champion

We would also like to see all user types in this report and not just students. We've had requests to by department heads to determine how a course is being used.  Tracking instructor activity would assist with that task.

tom_gibbons
Community Contributor

This is what's known, technically, as irony.

"Please undertake this action which most people would consider unethical in order to demonstrate that you are in compliance with our ethics training."

Comedy gold.

lfeng
Community Participant

Hi everyone - wanted to give an update here related to this thread.

Regarding the topic of tracking page views or logins/logouts as an approximation for session time, this is tricky for exactly the reasons others have suggested earlier in this post.  We do have some customers in the Canvas Data beta program that have plans to calculate the time between login and logout, while discarding anomalies like someone staying logged in for more than X hours.  nda One can also correlate login/logout to page viewsLindatttto determine whether the user is "active".  We don't have immediate plans for more related canned reporting but as we move beyond the initial release of Canvas Data, we are starting to research "Analytics 2.0" and I plan to use the feature ideas here and elsewhere in the forums as input for what to work on there.  I hope to reach out with opportunities for review as I get further into scoping that phase.

mrfphd
Community Participant

One of the things I just learned is that when a student accesses the pages on their cell phone, access does not show up on the access report.  The student showed me their phone, and all the readings were "checked" but when I look at their access report, none of these readings showed up.