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Track whether students used desktop or mobile browser

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In Canvas LMS, is there a way to capture and report the type of device that the student/user logged in from? Can administrators track whether students logged in from their desktop browsers or mobile browsers? For example, does Canvas log the name of the browser using which the student accessed the system?

Thanks in advance.

-Kunal

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Community Member

I am also curious of what the answer is to this question. However, I am wondering if it would be helpful to a teacher to know this information. As far as I know, I believe they only track the amount of time a student is online, not necessarily the device they use to log in.

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Community Team
Community Team

kunalashar​, a user whose role has the correct permissions (usually an admin) can see a user's page views and the browser used to access that page. Here's the documentation: How do I view the page views for a user in my account?

This doesn't differentiate by device, only by browser. For example, I've just visited some pages in a Canvas instance through the mobile browser on my iPad. I then looked at my own page views and see that the browser is listed as Safari 8.0 (whereas I only use Chrome and Firefox on my desktop). Still, that doesn't tell you whether the user is accessing the page from a mobile device.

However, you can tell whether the user has accessed the page through the Canvas mobile app on a mobile device. To test this further, I accessed the same pages through the mobile app for iOS. The browser listed for those page views is "Unrecognized Browser"--and that's the tipoff that the user has used the mobile app.

So the upshot is that page views don't definitively tell you whether the user is viewing a page through a desktop/laptop or mobile device, but you can derive some clues from them.

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Do you know if this report is available for self-hosted Canvas? Or only hosted Canvas?

Thank you!

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Community Member

I am also curious of what the answer is to this question. However, I am wondering if it would be helpful to a teacher to know this information. As far as I know, I believe they only track the amount of time a student is online, not necessarily the device they use to log in.

View solution in original post

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Deactivated user​, when I'm troubleshooting certain recurring problems such as students having trouble submitting assignments or posting to a discussion I like to see what browser a student has used because so often the answer is "I see you're using Internet Explorer to access the course; try another browser and let me know if you experience the same issue." 95% of the time, that resolves the problem. Having said that, I agree that in general teachers might be better advised to refer these inquiries to the help desk.

As to being able to differentiate views between desktop and mobile browser, Flash comes to mind. If a course makes extensive use of Flash in its design a teacher might want to let her students know that trying to complete the coursework on an iPad will be problematic.

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Community Team
Community Team

kunalashar​, a user whose role has the correct permissions (usually an admin) can see a user's page views and the browser used to access that page. Here's the documentation: How do I view the page views for a user in my account?

This doesn't differentiate by device, only by browser. For example, I've just visited some pages in a Canvas instance through the mobile browser on my iPad. I then looked at my own page views and see that the browser is listed as Safari 8.0 (whereas I only use Chrome and Firefox on my desktop). Still, that doesn't tell you whether the user is accessing the page from a mobile device.

However, you can tell whether the user has accessed the page through the Canvas mobile app on a mobile device. To test this further, I accessed the same pages through the mobile app for iOS. The browser listed for those page views is "Unrecognized Browser"--and that's the tipoff that the user has used the mobile app.

So the upshot is that page views don't definitively tell you whether the user is viewing a page through a desktop/laptop or mobile device, but you can derive some clues from them.

View solution in original post

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Do you know if this report is available for self-hosted Canvas? Or only hosted Canvas?

Thank you!

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emily.moore, I'm sorry to say I don't know anything about what reports are available for self-hosted Canvas; let's ping the Canvas Developers​ group here to see if they can chime in.

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Stefanie,

Is there a way to direct message with you or speak to you?

Mukesh

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Learner II

Great Questions kunalashar

Since there are a few different questions you are asking about here, I'm going to reply to each part specifically.

1) In Canvas LMS, is there a way to capture and report the type of device that the student/user logged in from?

--> Canvas does capture this information but the reporting feature is really not part of Canvas other than looking at pageviews and user reports as suggested above.

2) Can administrators track whether students logged in from their desktop browsers or mobile browsers? For example, does Canvas log the name of the browser using which the student accessed the system?

--> Yes, this can be done by inserting a custom Google Analytics script into your Global JS (see: How do I add custom JavaScript and CSS files to my account?​). Once this is done and you have your Google Analytics set up you can track and report this in many different ways inside of Google Analytics. Below is a screen shot of what this looks like on our Google Analytics dashboard. Hat Tip to 16247​ and Springfield Public Schools for turning us on to this and helping us out.

43514_pastedImage_1.png

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Wow! That's pretty cool clong@hbuhsd.edu!

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clong@hbuhsd.edu,

Any chance I could pick your brain about the Google Analytics?  I saw Nicole using it at Project Khaki and went to set it up immediately b/c it is so super cool.  I setup the analytics account and generated tracking code, but before I added it to my custom Javascript in Canvas, I just want to make sure that I configured everything right to maximize the awesomeness of the data.  Like, I wasn't sure what the best time to use for the session length and things like that.  Do you have any insight from your experience using it?

Thanks!!
Michelle