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Canvas Release: New Course and User Analytics

Canvas Release: New Course and User Analytics

This document provides a summary of the New Analytics, which was originally introduced in the Canvas Release Notes (2019-10-19). Please see the change log for details about document updates.

New Analytics provides a richer analytics experience for course grades, weekly online activity, and individual student view. All analytics also include mobile page views.

New Analytics includes improved analytics for tracking student data using an interactive chart or table. Analytics Beta will eventually replace current course and account analytics. However, New Analytics and the current course Analytics functionality can be used concurrently.

Change Log

 

Community Resources

Future Enhancements

This document outlines existing functionality included in the initial release of this feature. New Analytics may continue to receive additional feature enhancements over future releases as indicated in the change log at the end of this document.

Customer Feedback

User feedback is welcome in the New Analytics User Group.

Known Issues

Several behaviors have been identified in New Analytics. Known behaviors are being triaged by the Canvas engineering team—feature ideas do not need to be submitted regarding their functionality. For details about these behaviors, please see New Analytics: Known Issues.

Feature Documentation

How-to documentation for this feature is included in the New Analytics User Group Knowledge Base.

Lesson comments are welcome for functionality clarification. Lessons will also be updated with all future enhancements as indicated in this document.

Feature/Integration Setup

Feature Preview


The New Analytics project includes the New Course and User Analytics course-level feature option, which allows the feature to be enabled on a course-by-course basis or turned on for all courses across the entire account. Canvas admins can manage this feature option in Account Settings. By default, this feature option is set to Off and Unlocked.

When the feature option is On and Unlocked at the account level, instructors can enable the New Analytics feature for their courses in Course Settings.

This feature enhances the Canvas experience within course analytics. When this flag is enabled, early access to ongoing improvements will be displayed automatically with every release. Customers who choose to enable this feature in the production environment should follow the New Analytics User Group to stay current with upcoming features and their release dates.

Note: When the feature preview is on for the entire account, Course Navigation link may take some time to update throughout all courses in the account.

new-analytics-account-level.png

 

Account Analytics

To view account-level analytics, ensure the Analytics checkbox is still selected in Account Settings, as New Analytics does not yet support the account level. Account-level analytics will be updated in a future release.

account-settings-analytics.png

External Apps (LTI)

New Analytics involves both a feature preview and an LTI tool.

Unless manually removed by a Canvas admin, the New Analytics LTI tool is available in all Canvas courses. (If this LTI tool has been removed from an account, please contact a Customer Success Manager to re-add the tool.)

Note: Enabling the feature preview will not display New Analytics unless the New Analytics LTI tool is also installed.

account-settings-apps.png

 

Permissions

New Analytics honors the same permissions as existing analytics.

For students to view their own analytics, the Analytics - view pages permission must be enabled in the account-level Permissions page.

For users to view student analytics in course analytics, Grades - view all grades and Grades - edit must be enabled in the account-level Permissions page.

To view student analytics from the course People page, Users - view list must be enabled in the account-level Permissions page.

Release Schedule

New Analytics can be enabled in the production environment at any time. When enabled, New Course and User Analytics replaces the previous course and user analytics functionality.

Course-Level Setup

Feature Preview


When New Analytics is allowed at the course level, New Course and User Analytics can be turned on for the course in the Course Settings Feature Previews tab. This feature allows admin, instructor, TA, and designer roles to view improved analytics functionality and provide functional feedback for additional analytics development.

When the feature preview is turned enabled, the following functionality applies:

  • All existing Analytics buttons are renamed to New Analytics, which directs to the new functionality
  • The New Analytics Course Navigation link displays in the Course Settings Navigation Menu.

Additionally, when New Course and User Analytics is enabled—and after the page is refreshed—the New Analytics Course Navigation link will be visible by default in the Course Settings Navigation Menu. The link can be hidden for New Analytics data to display in the course, but the navigation link provides quick access to analytics data for users with viewing permissions.

Note: The Course Navigation link can be hidden in the Course Navigation Menu in Course Settings by an instructor (if needed). The link is not required to be displayed in Course Navigation, but the navigation link provides quick access to analytics data for instructors (and students, if they have permission to view analytics).

Instructor Features

Course Buttons


When New Analytics is enabled for the account by a Canvas admin, Canvas directs all existing analytics buttons and links to New Analytics content, which includes analytics links in the Student Context Card, People page, and admin-level User Details page. All buttons are renamed from Analytics to New Analytics.

Additionally, the Course Home Page button is also renamed from Course Analytics to New Analytics.

Instructors can access the Course Navigation Menu for a direct link to access new analytics from anywhere in Canvas.

Analytics and New Analytics button comparisons

Analytics Data

New Analytics displays both course grade and weekly online activity data, as selected in the analytics menu.

326552_pastedImage_2.png

Course Grade

Course Grade allows instructors to view the average course grade for all course data using an interactive chart or table. Additionally, instructors can filter analytics results to compare the average course grade with a specific section or student and quickly access assignment data.

Course Grade data also includes a student table, which displays all students within a specific filter below the chart. For each student, the table displays the student's name, number of page views, and number of participations. Clicking the student’s name opens the individual student view, which displays the average course grade, submission information, participation metrics for the student, and communication data between the teacher and student using an interactive chart or table.

 

Weekly Online Activity

Weekly Online Activity allows instructors to view the average number of page views and participations for a course using an interactive chart or table. Additionally, instructors can filter analytics results to compare the average course activity with a specific section or student.

Weekly Online Activity data also includes a student table, which displays all students within a specific filter below the chart. For each student, the table displays the student's name, number of page views, and number of participations. Clicking the student’s name opens the individual student view, which displays the average course grade, submission information, participation metrics for the student, and communication data between the teacher and student using an interactive chart or table.

 

CSV Reports

CSV files can be downloaded that display data for missing assignments, late assignments, excused assignments, the class roster, and course activity data. Using APIs, all reports provide real-time data except for the Course Activity report, which includes data that may be delayed up to 24 hours. Additionally, all report data is verified against user permissions.


Attendance Report

The Attendance report allows admins to set attendance criteria for courses. Instructors can view the criteria set for the course, which can include posting a comment to an announcement or discussion, submitting an assignment, or viewing a page. This change allows criteria to update attendance information for individual courses and remove manual attendance tracking.

Student Features

If students have permission to view their own analytics, they can view their own analytics for course grade and weekly online activity using an interactive chart or table. Additionally, students can see an overview of the number of messages sent between them and their instructor(s) in the Canvas Inbox.

When allowed, access to analytics is located in the following locations:

  • Course Home Page button
  • Course Navigation Menu link (unless hidden in Course Navigation)
  • People page student name link

For details about individual student view, please see the Student View Analytics Tabs summary.

 

 

 

Change Log

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Date  
2021-07-19 Added Attendance Report
2019-10-09 New Analytics Generally Available for all institutions
2018-09-24 Added Course Grade Functionality
2019-07-01

Added Student View Analytics Functionality

2019-05-15

Added Weekly Online Activity Functionality

 

Labels (1)
Comments

Will the "Analytics Beta" name in the course navigation menu, and buttons, change to "Analytics" upon release (10/19/2019)? Or will it stay Analytics Beta until 3/21/20?

Hi, Todd,

The Course Navigation Menu will update as Analytics on the end-of-life date when there are no longer two options. Smiley Happy

Thanks,

Erin

Thank you!  Is there any chance of having it named New Analytics in this interim period where there are two, and then dropping the New from it when the old one is at end of life? For those institutions that may want to enable it fully, and move on from the old one, there would be a lot more confidence from the faculty/instructors in the new tool if it weren't titled Beta.

Hi, Todd,

I believe the team is actually planning to change it to New Analytics on October 19. They just wanted it to say Analytics Beta for right now. I'll be updating this document when all of that happens to reflect the name change.

Erin

That makes sense for right now. It's great to hear they are already considering the name change. That will be very helpful for those that choose to make the change quickly.  As always, thank you!

In Beta I have the new tool turned on however where we had analytics beta previously in our navigation it is now missing.  The changes outlined above are not appearing in our beta instance

Hi, Lauren,

The tool has to be reset in beta each week until the production deploy; the tool will still work if it's enabled, even if the Course Navigation Link isn't visible. If you want it to be visible you'll need to make it visible in the Navigation page in Course Settings.

Thanks!

Erin

erinhallmark 

"The New Analytics functionality will not display in any courses unless enabled as a feature option. To view New Analytics, Canvas admins must enable the New Course and User Analytics feature option. This feature can be enabled in the Account Settings Feature Option tab. When enabled, the feature option renames all Analytics buttons to Analytics Beta and displays the new functionality."

I read this statement as indicating that Analytics Beta / New Analytics will no longer be available to enable at the course level.

However, in enabling New Course and User Analytics at the Account level in the Beta instance and then disabling it (to return to Home > Course Analytics) that courses with Analytics Beta enabled still have the menu item visible and apparently workable. 

Will instructors that already enabled Analytics Beta enabled still be able to use the tool after October 19 if our school decides to keep Course Analytics until the end of the term. 

Secondly, is there a feature comparison document between the current and New Analytics tools?

Thank you,

Joe

Hi, Joe,

The Course Navigation link has had a problem with caching; it's been corrected in the beta environment and will be part of our next deploy on 2019-10-23.

As for a comparison, we'll see what we can do.

Thanks,

Erin

Thanks, Erin for the updated information on New Analytics!

Joe

Joe Fahs | Instructional Technologist | Eastern Nazarene College<http://www.enc.edu> | Joe.fahs@enc.edu

erinhallmark‌ - can I get clarification on one of Joe's questions, here restated in my own words - Will instructors who had enabled Analytics Beta as a course option still be able to use the tool after October 19 if our school decides to keep Course Analytics turned off until the end of the term?  From what I'm seeing in my beta instance, this becomes an either/or choice - it is either on for everyone or off for everyone.

Hi, Valerie,

The LTI tool will be enabled for everyone. However, visibility is completely managed by the feature option and applies to the entire account. So if you decide to leave it off, New Analytics will not be visible. It will be required to be used prior to the end of life date for existing analytics though, so sounds like you will probably enable it at the end of the term, which will be just fine.

Thanks!

Erin

So, can you confirm my understanding...

  • If it's turned On, then it will immediately override the current Course Analytics option everywhere, and it will be available as a disabled course navigation item. Those who had enabled Analytics Beta in their course navigation will still have it.
  • If it's turned Off, then the current course analytics will still be available, but those who had enabled Analytics Beta in their course navigation will lose it and not be able to enable it.
  • Will there be an Allow option?
    • If yes, will this mean that those who have enabled Analytics Beta in their course navigation will lose it until they turn On the feature option at the course level?

Thanks vanzandt‌.  That is exactly my concern.  I had been planning to leave it off until the end of the term so as not to disrupt people's experience, but it sounds like doing so will disrupt the experience of people who have opted-in at the course level.

 @rake_9  - Yes, exactly. It sounds like we're stuck impacting one group or the other, in the middle of the term. I really appreciate you bringing this up, as I had intended to do the same 'wait until end of term' approach, but now I'm rethinking the impacts to those who have been utilizing the Beta tool in navigation.

Hi Valerie Rake and Todd Van Zandt ,

When I turned off New Analytics at the account level in Beta, the courses that previously had Analytics Beta enabled in its menu were still there. But AB was not available in Settings > Navigation. Most likely a caching issue so I am not confident that previous users of AB will have access if classic Analytics is the default.  We plan to keep classic Analytics as the default tool until the end of the term. 

We are considering enabling New Analytics at the account level in Beta once a week and then having instructors experienced with Analytics Beta-New Analytics log in to beta.instructure.com and access the new tool for their course analytics. However, the data will lag during the week until Beta is reset again. 

Joe (10-17-19)

Me again, erinhallmark‌, having a late Friday afternoon stress-fest. As I've been thinking through communications around this, I realize I am not at all understanding how this particular release is supposed to work.  

We have Beta Analytics enabled in production; some unknown number of faculty at my institution have turned it on in their courses.  This document says New Analytics can be enabled in Production on Monday, October 21.  Will there be a point this weekend when courses with Beta Analytics turned on will revert to "old" Analytics until we enable the new app on Monday? Or will our whole instance switch to New Analytics, since we already have the Beta version enabled?

 @rake_9  , Thanks for trying to get additional details. Still trying to figure all of this out, but here's what we see so far.

So, as of this morning's roll out in our instance, I can say for sure that... 

  • It's turned OFF by default
    • The current course analytics is still available
    • Those who had enabled Analytics Beta in their course navigation have lost it and are not able to enable it.
  • Will there be an Allow option?
    • NO

Has anyone turned it ON? If so, can you shed light on the behavior?

  • I assume it will immediately override the current Course Analytics option everywhere.

  • I assume it will be a disabled course navigation item again by default

  • Will it be restored for those who had previously enabled Analytics Beta in their course navigation, or will they have to re-enable it?

erinhallmark‌  - if you could provide any updates that would be appreciated. As Valerie noted, we're trying to get information to share with our users.  Whichever way we choose to go at this point, we appear to have impacted some of our users right in the middle of term. This really needed an Allow option in the feature options settings...

vanzandt‌, I just re-enabled this in our production instance by enabling the feature option. I can confirm that the LTI functions as it previously did, appearing as a disabled course navigation item by default. It also replaces the previous Course Analytics tools with the new Analytics Beta tools in the course options. I'm not sure of the visibility of this tool if it had been previously enabled in the course.

Somewhat concerningly, if the account-level feature option is disabled after being enabled, it seems that no analytics options are available to instructorsThis is occurring in our beta environment but I'm unaware if it's an intended issue or unintended bug.

Ideally, we would be able to continue offering what we could before the most recent Canvas release, making the next-gen analytics tools as a course navigation item, and also offering the current/previous-gen analytics tools to instructors who still wish to use them.

I share Todd's concerns about these kind of mid-term changes to Canvas, and look forward to some clarity from Instructure.

We switched it to On as soon as it was available to us. So far, we haven't heard anything (good or bad) from users.

Hi, all,

Thanks for your comments. I haven't responded to most of them yet as our product team may make some adjustments. We'll update this document when we have further information.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi, all,

Based on your feedback, we've updated the feature option to be a course-level option instead of an account-level option. This change places the feature option default to allow, which means it can be enabled on a course-by-course basis. Additionally, when the feature option is enabled for a course, the Course Navigation link will display in the Course Navigation Menu by default.

These changes have been updated in the document.

Thanks!

Erin

Thank you, Erin and team, for responding and enabling the New Analytics by course option. 

Joe

Why can't we change the date range? This seems like such a simple thing that should be a feature. 

I too wonder why the ability to change the date range isn't included in this tool. I would highly recommend that this capability be added as soon as possible.

I have opened a new feature request called

New Analytics date ranges

look for it and upvote it once it is approved.

Has the mandated enforcement date of this been changed from 2020-03-21 to 2020-07-18?  There is potentially conflicting (or at least confusing) information on this page and the https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-16601-upcoming-canvas-changes page.

Hi, Douglas,

This document is considered an initial release document. It's not retroactively updated. In fact, I should probably close this document to comments since this document was introduced such a long time ago.

Erin