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Student Activity Report: Student Time Log

Student Activity Report: Student Time Log

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.



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

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.

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.

Community Coach
Community Coach​ 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.

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


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.


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

<105-4330-3-2160-1430485816256.jive.jivemailuser@>, chofer

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?

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!

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!

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

Community Team
Community Team

That? is lame.

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.


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

<105-4366-3-2204-1430499516886.jive.jivemailuser@>, kona