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view access by file or item, not user

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In the Canvas Community Ideas space, you can share, converse, and rate idea conversations related to software improvements to Canvas products.

view access by file or item, not user

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 here so we can keep these related ideas associated with one another.

Explorer II

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.

Explorer II

I fixed it for you  Smiley Happy

Community Member

Smiley Happy

Learner II
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.

Explorer II

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!

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.

Learner 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.

Surveyor​, check out this new post by​ - 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.


It doesn't really answer everything that​ 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.