What is considered a page view in the analytics?

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In reviewing some analytics for some spring courses, our "page views" counts seem to be really high.  For example, we have a 7 week course with 39 students and the home page shows more than 5K views.   Others for example for 1 discussion question, it shows 37 students, with 88 participations which makes sense because each student is supposed to post and then reply to at least 1 peers post, but there are 282 page views.   What constitutes a page view?  Every time the page refreshes no matter how long the "view" lasted?

I can see how page views could be really useful with students and coaching, but it seems like the numbers are so high that they are not useful for that.  Is there any way a limit or filter could be put on the analytics for a "page view of X seconds or more", and we could get those stats?  That would be much more useful I would think.