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Analytics Page Views and Participations

Analytics Page Views and Participations

Overview

As part of our Canvas analytics offering, we track and report against student activity within the Canvas LMS. Student activity is currently defined by two data points: Page Views and Participations. This document includes information on data sources and definitions, as well as some detail on how to best use this data to track student activity within Canvas.  

Data Sources

Request Data

Request data is the foundation of our student activity data within Canvas. Request data tracks any time that a user’s behavior triggers a callback to our server. For example, this behavior can occur when a student views a page, downloads a file, or submits an assignment. The list within the Participations section below includes a list of the specific activities that we track as student participation. This request data is the same data that’s available in Canvas Data and can also be seen by admins in the account-level Users Page Views section.

 

Mobile Page View Data

Mobile page view data is included in both the current Course Analytics offering and the new Analytics released this year.

 

LTI Data

Activity data currently includes LTI launches; however, it does not contain detailed LTI tool activity. This is true for Quizzes.next and Arc, as well as non-Canvas LTI tools. Quizzes.Next data is planned for the new Course Analytics offering but a timeline has not yet been determined.

 

Page Views

Because the page view data is based on requests to the server, the numbers for page views may be greater than what we traditionally think of as a page view. As a result, page view data should be used as a good approximation to student activity and not an absolute metric. This data is most valuable when seeking to understand if activity did occur, and as a means of comparison across students within a course or when viewing trends week to week.

 

Participations

Several actions define participation in Canvas and collectively describe events where a user takes an action within a course. We track participations for both students and instructors, and we report participations in Canvas Course Analytics for just student participations.

 

The following student actions will generate analytics course participation:

  • Announcements: posts a new comment to an announcement
  • Assignments: submits an assignment
  • Collaborations: loads a collaboration to view/edit a document
  • Conferences: joins a web conference
  • Discussions: posts a new comment to a discussion
  • Pages: creates a page
  • Quizzes: submits a quiz
  • Quizzes: starts taking a quiz
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I have a teacher hoping to use the "last page view" data for attendance purposes. I'm trying to figure out how reliable this is.

For example, if a student visited a course page 3 days ago and the browser caches that data, will visiting the page again today update the "last page view" date? Or is there the potential that the page will loaded from cache and the date won't change?

 

Thanks

Is anyone else having a problem with the Participation number? Our teachers have students submitting assignments, but some data is showing that students haven't submitted since October. We can see that they have submitted several assignments since then, but the participation number and date do not update.

@Marisa_Rickel Yes! We have noticed the same issue where the participation rates does not match the submissions for the assignment. 

We will be raising a support ticket for this and I think you might have to as well to get to the bottom of the issue.

Also, the previous analytics view lists the total page views and participations per student for the entire course, but I cannot find any way to pull the same data from New Analytics.

New Analytics "Report" tab only filters by a specific date(s), and it does not give the total view/participation per student. It is rather frustrating.

@hanzi_teo When you go to New Analytics choose the 'Student' option at the top. It will show all students in the course. It will show total page views and total participation. 

Thanks @Marisa_Rickel, but I was hoping to find the numbers for the entire course duration.

In New Analytics, the "Student" tab is filtered by a specific date range as highlighted below.

hanzi_teo_0-1610070639735.png

In the previous analytics, I believe the numbers are summed over the entire course duration which is great for high-level reflections and comparison between courses.

hanzi_teo_1-1610070748521.png

Thanks for the suggestion regardless 😀

 

 

@hanzi_teo did you guys ever get to the bottom of this? Some of our course's participations are not matching what is happening in Canvas at this point. I reached out to Help and they're looking into it but then I saw this and thought maybe you might have some insight?

Hi @peppele !

I raised a support ticket to Canvas Support in January this year. The bad news is that they still don't have a fix yet and last I heard back from Support, there wasn't a fixed time frame to resolve this issue.

What I can suggest you do in the meantime is check out the admin reports (if you have access). The one I use is called User Course Access Logs which has more accurate data on student & teacher participation.

Do note that the report can be a huge data set because you can only filter by Term and Course Role (e.g. Students) and the data only goes back to activity in the past 30 days. 

Hope this helps!

@peppele  I just ran across this problem and put in a support ticket.  There is a 24-hour lag in the Participation.  We have the same issue...the students submitting assignments last night, but they are not showing as having participated this morning.  As a work-around, I told my folks to go to Grades > Gradebook > Gradebook History.  This shows the partcipation time/date immediately, and has filters that are very helpful.