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kunal_ashar
Community Member

How do I view a page's deletion audit history?

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I see that Canvas has the ability to show a page's edit audit history - who edited a page and when (and revert to s specific instance in the audit history).

But is there a way to view a page's deletion history? And/or "undelete" a page? Specifically, here's my scenario:
Several designers are editing a page, at various points in time.

One of the designers accidentally deletes a page.

How do I know who deleted the page and when, and is it possible to retrieve it?

Thanks in advance.

1 Solution

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kblack
Community Member

Hi kunalashar‌ - YES, you can restore it, but finding out who did it may require a bit more detective work on the part of someone who has administrative access.

To restore a deleted item in Canvas (pretty much any item, by the way, except for Discussion posts) head to the HOME page of your course site, and simply add /undelete at the end of the address you see in the browser. 

An an example:  https://[your-institutional-domain].instructure.com/courses/12345/undelete

will bring up a listing of items deleted.  You can click RESTORE to restore it.  (See the screen capture below, which I took from a sample class.)  HOWEVER, before you restore it, you may want to take a look at the "last updated" date/time.  In theory, that should show the time/date it was deleted (which was the "last update" in this case!) 

270775_resotre items.jpg

It does NOT, however, show who did it.  You could try looking at the Access Report for your Designers and try to ascertain it that way, though I admit I have never tried that for anyone in a designer role.   

A Canvas administrator would have retrieve the user logs for the people who serve as designers in the class to compare that "last updated" time with when they were each in your course site.  That may stray into some privacy issues, though since they are not students perhaps not.  (I'm not a lawyer, either, though!)

Hope this helps a bit, Kunal.

View solution in original post

3 Replies
kblack
Community Member

Hi kunalashar‌ - YES, you can restore it, but finding out who did it may require a bit more detective work on the part of someone who has administrative access.

To restore a deleted item in Canvas (pretty much any item, by the way, except for Discussion posts) head to the HOME page of your course site, and simply add /undelete at the end of the address you see in the browser. 

An an example:  https://[your-institutional-domain].instructure.com/courses/12345/undelete

will bring up a listing of items deleted.  You can click RESTORE to restore it.  (See the screen capture below, which I took from a sample class.)  HOWEVER, before you restore it, you may want to take a look at the "last updated" date/time.  In theory, that should show the time/date it was deleted (which was the "last update" in this case!) 

270775_resotre items.jpg

It does NOT, however, show who did it.  You could try looking at the Access Report for your Designers and try to ascertain it that way, though I admit I have never tried that for anyone in a designer role.   

A Canvas administrator would have retrieve the user logs for the people who serve as designers in the class to compare that "last updated" time with when they were each in your course site.  That may stray into some privacy issues, though since they are not students perhaps not.  (I'm not a lawyer, either, though!)

Hope this helps a bit, Kunal.

View solution in original post

Great explanation  @kblack !

Here is some additional information I found out by testing between the web UI and the Canvas REST API.

  • The last updated on the undelete screen is indeed the date and time when the page was deleted.
  • The deletion does not count as a revision update. That is, if you look at the revision history for the page while it's deleted, you get a 404 not found error. That's a shame in this case because the revision history shows who made the revision.
  • When you undelete a page, it comes back in an unpublished state, even if it was published before.
  • When you undelete a page, all revisions except for the last one are gone. The revision number is reset to 1 and the person who made the revision, not the person who made the deletion or the person who restored it, is listed.
  • Page deletions (and restorations) are not considered course events and do not show up in the Course Audit Log.
  • The access report does keep all the count of all of the previous views. It also keeps the date and time when the page was last viewed. By adding a .json to the end of the access report URL so that it ends in usage.json, you can get additional information, including when the page was first viewed.
  • Publishing / Unpublishing the page counts as both a view and a participation, but the last action_level (visible only through the usage.json page) will show participate.
  • Deleting the page from the Pages menu does not show as a view or a participation. If the user goes to the page and then deletes it, it would show up as a view.

That last one makes tracking more difficult. Through the admin logs, you can see that a person was involved and visited the list of pages, but you may not see that they visited the individual page.

Finally, one other thing I discovered -- while testing in the beta instance, the page views are not tracked. What you're seeing for page views as an admin is what happens on the production instance of Canvas.

kblack
Community Member

Wow--thanks as always for those explanations,  @James !  Deletion "events" have come up from time to time for me, as well, and these explanations help.