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How do you advise instructors to make sense of the various tracking and analytics data in Canvas?

Question asked by Jessica Morris on May 7, 2015
Latest reply on Jan 20, 2016 by Jessica Morris

I'm preparing for a upcoming Canvas training that will focus on the idea of getting and analyzing student data to inform instruction. This is our first academic year in Canvas, so we are still figuring a lot of things out. I thought I would find out what others schools/IDs are thinking in this area, especially those that might have had more time with Canvas!!


The audience for this training is mostly our full time, face-to-face faculty, so a large takeaway that I hope they leave with is that they will have to start building more components in the LMS to get more useful data. We'll spend some time looking at what some of our faculty have done with assignments, discussions, and quizzes. Then, I want to introduce data sources that can shed some light on student behavior and performance. 


I'm still in the planning stage, but here is what I'm currently thinking:


Data Source: Last and total activity

What is it good for? A snapshot of students' efforts to check in with during the term, but doesn't tell much. This indicator may just be a flag that directs you to possibly at-risk or disengaged students.


Data Source: User access reports

What is it good for? Investigating efforts of possibly at-risk students or disengaged students for individual intervention; analyzing behaviors of successful students, including resources used most and least frequently


Data Source: Course analytics on student activity/page views

What is it good for? Assessing trends in student participation and possible workload: does the work need to be more distributed? Are there weeks where students need to be more engaged in the course? 

(I will mention that this doesn't account for offline efforts. You have to factor that in.)


Data Source: Course analytics on assignment submissions and grade distributions

What are they good for? Used together, they help with identifying successful and possibly troublesome assignments and/or course topics: does the instructional material need to be tweaked or supplemented? Are better instructions or supports needed for certain assignments?


Data Source: Course analytics by user

What is it good for? Using the various sorting options per column to see how different behaviors may have or have not contributed to grade success (i.e., student effort paid off, student effort did not pay off and additional support may be needed, or effort is not being put in and student may need to be encouraged)


Thanks in advance for your thoughts!