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Community Member

Did student(s) access/download a posted file?

I'd like to get a report of which students view a posted file.

Here's the situation:

  • I post solutions (individual pdf files) to all assignments with a link under "Modules."
  • I tell students that exam questions will be just like the assignments and that they should review the solutions in order to prepare.
  • A number of students performed poorly on the exam specifically on questions that were exactly like an assignment.
  • I want to know if particular students actually looked at / downloaded particular pdf solution files.

I'm not seeing where to do this. The help guide (How do I view the course access report for an individual user?) gives instructions that aren't available, i.e., there is no "User Details" for individual students in "People."

If I have to look up students individually, I would do that.  I seem to remember generating a report in the past that listed individually student accesses in a single report.

Any help would be appreciated.

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9 Replies

I also have this question!  I don't have the three dots by the students' names to view an access report.  Please advise.  Thanks!


Then this might have been turned off by your school. You would want to contact someone in charge of Canvas at your school directly for help with this. 


Community Coach
Community Coach, other than one-by-one, the only way I knownto get this as a Report is using the following - Obtaining and using Access Report data for an entire course‌. Another workaround that I like js also this one - Help Students Monitor their Course Progress‌. I know it says students, but it’s just as handy for teachers. 


Community Member

Thanks for the reply, Kona.  I previously had installed the java script but it no longer works.  The instructions in the help guide don't help as whatever version/upgrade doesn't have the features/buttons described so I find myself at multiple dead ends.  Who knows what features my institution has enabled/disabled...

I will work with my institution to find a solution.

Good luck to anyone else with the same desire.




Unfortunately for you, the script to obtain the results for all of the students makes the call that generates it for a single student. If you can't get the report for a single student because that feature is disabled, then the script won't work, either. If there is a bright side, it appears that it's a single dead-end, rather than a multiple one.

I did just verify that the Obtaining and using Access Report data for an entire course script was working with Tampermonkey on Chrome. If you used it a long time ago with Greasemonkey / Firefox, that combination stopped working with Firefox 57 in November 2017. Firefox made changes that required Greasemonkey to refactor and it broke scripts that made network calls, which this script does. Tampermonkey took a different approach and the scripts continued to work and Tampermonkey has broader browser support, working with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and even Edge. Chrome is considering making changes that may break Tampermonkey at some point in the future, but I hope not.

When you work with your institution, here's a starting point. Canvas has a Course Role Permissions document that lists what permissions are needed in order to do certain things. looking at it, it looks like the Course - view usage reports (page 😎 is the one to look at. It "allows users to view Last Activity, Total Activity, and Student Interactions." There is an additional consideration listed there that says you must have the Users - view list enabled to see the People page. It sounds like you have access to the People page, though, so that's probably not the root cause.

Explorer III

Hello All!

Jim and Kona - I wonder if you could share if you have moved to Analytics Beta and the New Gradebook yet?  As far as I can tell the permissions split off in one of these updates and left us with a setting called "Grades - Allows user to review an audit trail in assignments, both moderated and anonymous" that we can longer select.  I am guessing it happened when we updated to one of those tools...maybe because Analytics Beta has a plan for that later.

Any thoughts you have would be appreciated!

Amy Ward

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello there,

I have been reviewing older questions here in the Canvas Community, and I stumbled upon your question.  I thought that I would check in with you because I noticed there hasn't been any new activity in this topic since February 25, 2019.  Have you had a chance to review the additional responses you received from and after you had last responded on February 22, 2019?  Did any of the above responses help to answer your question?  Or, are you still looking for some help with your question?  If you feel that one of the above replies has helped to answer your question, please consider clicking the "Mark Correct" button next to that person's reply.  However, if you are still looking for some help with this question, please let us know that as well by posting a message below letting Community members know how we can help out.  For the time being, I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered"...mainly because we haven't seen any new activity in this topic in over five months.  However, that won't prevent you or others from posting additional questions and/or comments below that are related to this topic.  I hope that's alright with you, Tom.  Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

Community Member

I tried looking at scripts via Tampermonkey but was unable to get it to work.  Then I got distracted by other things. I'd still like to be able to do this, but haven't pursued it it further.  So "assumed answered" isn't quite correct, but I haven't been pursuing it either.

Highlighted‌, thanks for the update. If you decide to re-pursue it, and still run into the Tampermonkey issue, please post a comment to that effect under the specific Canvancement you're trying to implement.