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view access by file or item, not user

view access by file or item, not user

(2)
I've searched on this topic repeatedly, so if it's been addressed, sorry. I would like to be able to run analytics on a specific file or assignment to see which students have accessed it. I know how to look at each student's record, but that's extremely cumbersome.  For example, I uploaded a PDF of model (anonymous) essays from the class and want to know how many students have looked at these before submitting their next essay. It would be helpful to run a report on that item.  I really dislike having to go student by student to see who has done what vs. being able to run a report on individual files or individual modules, etc.

 

Thanks, Andrea

General Comments

Comments from Instructure

Please refer to Canvas Release: New Course and User Analytics.

Note from the Community Team: We're including the link to https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1221-see-which-students-have-viewed-a-particular-page-or-activ... here so we can keep these related ideas associated with one another.

56 Comments
scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

Hi Andrea,

As far as I can discern it hasn't been addressed yet either.  Thank you for taking the time to come suggest this idea.  It will open for vote on February 3rd.

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

I fixed it for you  Smiley Happy

mcdowela
Community Member

Smiley Happy

RobDitto
Navigator
mcdowela
Community Member

I just looked at that (which I hadn't found earlier) and saw the number of comments it received as well as the Canvas statement that it wasn't in their plans to initiate.  It's such an essential feature for faculty members, and I used it all the time on Angel!  Overall, I do prefer Canvas -- until I bump into one of these seemingly no-brainer issues (like polls!) that inexplicably don't exist.

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. February 3, 2016 - Wed. May 4, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works!

tomasz_strzalec
Community Member

This is a key feature for me. I want to keep track of which materials are useful for my students and which are not.

lindalee
Adventurer II

This is a really important feature, and one that I've appreciated being able to use when I've taught classes using other learning management systems.

From an instructional perspective, it can be really helpful to know whether students have accessed particular course materials (required or recommended readings, sample files, assignment instructions) before going into class. It can help with lesson planning (for instance, how much time do I plan to spend going over this assignment -- that might change depending on whether I know that very few or almost all of the students have accessed the instructions in advance).

If there are adequate analytics on access to a particular resource (who, when, from where, for how long), it can also help in instances of suspected academic integrity cases. We've been ask about student access to course materials during exams, for instance.

In either case, data about specific file/item use would be very helpful -- both for instructors and admins.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @lindalee ​, check out this new post by  @James ​ - Obtaining and using Access Report data for an entire course. I haven't had a chance to play around with it myself, but I believe that once you download the data to the spreadsheet that you should be able to get it to show this information.

James
Navigator

It doesn't really answer everything that  @lindalee ​ is asking about, but it does address the original feature request. You'll need to do a little analysis as it provides a complete overview of the activity for all of the class, not just a particular assignment, but by making it a table and adding a couple of slicers (filters) on the title and either the class or category, you can get to it pretty quickly.

It should meet most of the first part of Linda's post, but it will tell you only the who and some of the when (first and last accesses) from the second part. It doesn't give every access. The page view information available to Admins on a student by student basis or for everyone in the instance from Canvas Data is going to provide a clearer picture as to the when, from where, and how long questions.

mcdowela
Community Member

Linda -- precisely. And I used it all the time with Angel.  I really don't want an entire spreadsheet that I have to search and analyze. (Yes, I know how to do that, but it's not nearly as convenient.)  Instead, I want to simply click on an assignment and have it show me a chart of who in the class has accessed it and when (2 min before class starts? never?).   Having to click on each individual student and scroll through their access report is a complete PITA.  🙂

lindalee
Adventurer II

Hi  @kona ​and  @James ​,

Thanks so much for this information! I very much look forward to giving it a try.

However, I'd ideally like to see Instructure provide this functionality within Canvas in an easy-to-access manner. James's instructions look like significantly more effort (and possibly require more technical expertise) than many faculty will be able to comfortably handle. And if this is a solution that depends on installing a browser add-on, many faculty will face limitations when trying to access this data on their non-primary computer. (For instance, in the classroom, just before class starts.)

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @lindalee ​ &  @mcdowela ​, I totally 100% agree that I would LOVE to have this as a built in Canvas feature. We also came over from Angel and this is a much missed feature by our faculty and our admins. Yet, since we don't have it, and I'm not sure if/when we will in Canvas, I really appreciate the effort  @James ​ has put into putting more of this type of information in the hands of Instructors (and even Admins!).

lindalee
Adventurer II

Agreed,  @kona ​​! And again, thank you so much for directing me to that post.

James
Navigator

 @lindalee ​,

Technically, it doesn't have to be a browser add-on. It could be added to the global JavaScript file by your Canvas Admin. Then it would be available to every teacher in every course without them having to do anything to their individual machines. I try to write tools that people can choose to use rather than requiring changes to their global files that affect everyone. That way, they can choose whether or not to use it.

I thought about making a version that would add a button to each page that might need it, but it would require processing the same amount of information and take the same amount of time as the one that I added to the People page. There's no way for me to ask for and receive just the access report for a particular assignment -- it comes student by student. So, I have to download it all just to display a part of it and I chose to just go ahead and export the entire thing as a .CSV rather than wasting all that information.

But someone could take what I have written (I released the code under the ISC license) and use the URL of the page to determine the assignment title and context, filter it on the fly, and then make it available as a dialog box on that page.  It's going to be a little more complicated as there isn't any consistency in the creation of the right-hand side navigation link that teachers and admins see. Sometimes, it's just a bunch of <a> tags,  sometimes there is a <div>, sometimes there is a <table>. And then some things like files are going to be nightmares to handle as the content would either need added to the admin cog next to each or to the "info" page after clicking on the file.

To be truly effective (speedy), though, it would be something that would have to be added by Canvas where they had access to the database and could quickly generate it. But it sounds like that is what  @mcdowela ​ was requesting in the first place.

And even then, displaying the names could get troublesome. In a small class, you might be able to see all of the results. But if you had a class with 300 names in it, then Canvas would use pagination to display the list, so you'd have to wait for them to load and keep scrolling down to do it. That could really slow things down and it already happens in the current Access Report (my Stats class last fall had to do 4 page loads to get all the Access Report data and that's for each student). Also, in any Canvas-supplied list, it would probably just provide you with the student name, views, and participations as in the current report and you might run into the issue of students sharing the same name and not knowing which student it was that actually viewed the page. All of that is fixed by putting multiple pieces of data into the spreadsheet and letting the user filter it in a spreadsheet.

Yes, it requires the user do something on their end and that may be is beyond the ability of some faculty. That's why it's optional and each instructor decides whether or not they want to use it. But it's available now for those who have those skills and want to take advantage of it. The rest of the people can wait until Canvas does something with the feature request.

admin_brake
Explorer III

Many of the instructors at Colorado State University want this tool & would benefit from it!!

lydia
Community Member

This would be very helpful for instructional designers-- we like to know which resources are and aren't being used!

jonathan_carlyo
Community Member

Yes. Great idea. This would allow me to gauge which readings students are spending more time with and then compare this to the outcomes in quizzes. Thanks for suggesting it.

debra_maranto
Community Member

I have just forwarded this to our distance learning director so that she can send it out to all of our college's online teachers. I am begging them to vote for this feature! So hopefully the number of votes will be jumping way up real soon!

woodsdm2
Surveyor

This would be a great feature.  I often add additional resources to my course sites, but have no way to see which pages get used.  If I saw that certain pages were visited often, I would work to improve the pages, add that content to in-class discussions etc.

I realize that I can view this by looking at the access reports for individual students, but that isn't realistic - it's too time consuming, etc.  This does show that Canvas logs this info, this request is just asking for it to be presented in a different format.