Is this possible?
Heather, the closest you can get is the "Total Activity" under People, but that measure isn't that accurate because who knows if the student is sitting there reading a page or document, or watching a video, or if they pulled it up and walked away... or were watching TV... etc.
I am still trying to find something that says "Total Activity" under "People" - where exactly is that?
Woops I just found it. DUH - right in front of me...
To follow up on what Kona Jones said, if you want to really engage with students regarding their time and work for the class, I think one of the best ways to do that is by making those expectations clear in the course design (I am very explicit about how long each assignment should take, and that I expect 6 hours of work from them each week), while also working with them on time management and helping them be more responsible about how they work online, managing distractions, pacing themselves, etc. That is all pretty complex and difficult stuff that we all struggle with. Here is the "time" section of a resource site I built for my students. They appreciate the procrastination humor too; we all struggle with that, right? :-)
Learning by HEART: Time Management
Laura, Totally off topic, but how do you estimate how long it will take students to complete an assignment? I'd really like to add that information, but I think I'd do an awful job of estimating.
Each of my assignments is designed to be an hour, more or less, and there are six each week.
For the reading assignments (two each week), it's a word-count thing: about 8000 words per one-hour reading assignment; college students should be reading 150-200 words per minute, but I know not all read at that speed, and of course that assumes they are focused and paying attention (hence the need to manage distractions). There is usually an audio option available so they can listen rather than read; listening goes more slowly, but some students prefer it, and I actually prefer to listen when I have an audiobook option!
For the storytelling assignment, I call it an hour, but I know some spend more time, some less, and that's up to them. The story needs to be a minimum of 300 words, and a maximum of 1000 words, and I see the whole range. When someone writes exactly 300 words I know they were probably in a rush and/or bored. When they write exactly 1000 words, I know they probably wanted to write more (but learning how to write less rather than more is really important too, especially for serious writers).
For the project assignment, I call it one hour each week, but I can tell that some students spend more, some less, and that's up to them. I hope they will try to spend an hour. They work on the project every week, and some weeks they might spend more time, some less. Again, it's really up to them.
For the project feedback, it really should take an hour, but I know pretty much for sure that they don't spend a full hour on that. Doing the feedback is probably the hardest task they have each week, even though they don't realize that at first. It is the part of the class that I work on the hardest because it is really important AND really hard for them to do well.
Then there are blog comments: that actually doesn't take a full hour, but since the idea with the blog comments is that they are meant to be fun, I don't want there to be any time pressure problems with that, and I really want everyone to do that assignment every week to make sure everybody gets comments.
By making each assignment an hour more or less, I can really encourage them to come up with a weekly schedule where they budget the time just like they would for going to class. They don't always stick to that plan, but at least it is a way to get them to think about a weekly time commitment!
Here's a typical week; we just finished Week 7:
Online Course Wiki / week 7
P.S. I should add that I find it hilarious and depressing that students tell me how much work my class is compared to other classes: I ask for 6 hours a week, no class time. So that is the equivalent of a regular class in the classroom plus 3 hours outside of class each week. Nowhere even NEAR the supposed "2 or 3 hours outside of class for every hour in class" that people claim is the rule.
I get the impression that students have a lot of classes where they do little or no work outside of class except when it is time to turn in an assignment or take a quiz or test.
So, the idea that for my classes they are WORKING, really working, every week (not just sitting and listening) comes as kind of shock to some of them. They get used to it, but it's still... weird.
That's not true for students across all majors (the engineers never complain that my class is too much work, for example.. and they like that they can totally plan and manage their time in my classes, work ahead, etc.). It's always interesting for me to see the differences between majors that way, and which majors seem to have more of a culture of doing work for a class every week all semester, and which majors seem to have more of a binge-and-purge pattern.
Thanks! This is great feedback/information!
I'm getting feedback from students right now for midsemester, and the way I structure that is to try to help them get the big picture of how the pieces of the class really do fit together, it's not just random ha ha. :-)
Fall 2017 Blog Network (8): Student Midterm Assessments
If anything, a big problem is that they will put up with random, not even expecting things to connect in a bigger picture. That's something I've found I have to make explicit; I no longer assume anything "meta" like that is obvious.
Laura Gibbs Thank You for your willingness to share and your detailed answers to this question. I am teaching a class on how to be an effective online instructor right now, and last week I had someone ask how to calculate the amount of time students should spend in an online class based on its units. I'll reference this discussion in my response and kill two birds with one stone -- a thoughtful answer to the question I received *and* an introduction to the awesomeness of the Canvas Community.
Thank you, Gregory Beyrer!!! And I hope you can encourage the instructors you work with to join in and share! We all have a few tricks that we have learned, often by accident, that work really well... and if we share them, then we get the benefit of everybody's accidental learning.
I see that with my students all the time; even students who really struggle with school have some good strategies that they have come up with, so when I ask my students to share their time management tips or writing tips or whatever, when I look over the collected ideas of 90 students, it is always a WOW moment of the combined wisdom that they possess. Everybody has at least one really useful strategy to share, and the variety of strategies that people are using is really impressive.
Faculty need to do the same in my opinion... but there are so few opportunities to do that! That's why I like Canvas Community: it is totally open to that kind of sharing if only people could be lured here to use it.
Just wanted to add my 'thanks' to Laura Gibbs
Really appreciate your sharing
I am glad if that is helpful, Mary Hill ... I really like how there are so many things that facilitate people connecting and sharing in ways that were not possible before (in our old LMS, D2L, you could not just open up a course so everybody could see what you are doing). So, I don't have a lot of content in my classes (I use other spaces), but I always keep my Canvas course spaces open:
And, in honor of your cat avatar (yes!!!), here are my Canvas Cats :-)
Random Cats: Exploring Growth Mindset
Hi Mary Hill! That is a randomizer tool that one of my students built for me over 10 years ago, and it is still going strong:
You can also use RotateContent to create date-based tools; I made a progress meter this semester that I like! :-)
New for this semester: Progress Meter
I really love the time and effort you put into your class! I wish I had more time to really dig into your stuff. I was clicking on things and ended up on your extra credit for growth mindset. That stuff is great! Thank you so much for sharing!
I am with Gregory Beyrer and Kona Jones. Your work and insights inspire and educate me in this line of work. I love your passion.
Thank you, Kona Jones and David Willmore! I am so lucky that I have a full-time teaching job, and that is what has given me the incredibly luxury of working on my classes 40 hours each week, every week, for 15+ years. There are very few people at my school who have full-time teaching jobs (and for almost everybody else, their research is what is really valued, with teaching as something that just takes away time from research...), so I am always advocating for full-time teaching positions at college level like in K-12: there's just some kind of threshold you cross when teaching is your full-time job.
Plus, when you are teaching full-time in college, you realize how much you can learn from K-12 teachers. I have way more in common with K-12 teachers than I do with college instructors who don't actually see themselves primarily as teachers, here for the students first and foremost. And as a result, we college folks are really missing out on all the ideas that we can take from those teaching K-12. Most of the ideas that I have gotten from other teachers have come from K-12 teachers. Which is another thing I really like about Canvas Community: this is one of the few places I know of where you can get some great interactions going on among educators across that whole K-12/college spectrum. :-)
Thanks everyone, for your interest and suggestions. I was trying to figure out how to produce a report that showed time online for an audit of our online classes. I was hoping Canvas would magically be able to help me, but clearly that was overly optimistic! I need to develop some sort of system for this type of reporting...
It always makes me sad to think that we end up measuring things just because they can be measured (theoretically anyway), rather than asking just what we really need to know in order to do our jobs better. Even if Canvas COULD magically produce the numbers for which each course resource is open on a student's device and then add up all those times for a given student and call that a "measure of engagement," I'm not really convinced that is a way to monitor the effectiveness of an online course, much less improve the student's experience in that course.
Hi Heather Edwards
AspireEDU has a product called DropOut Detective that I believe can do what you ask for, and also provide truly meaningful data on student engagement, rather than just how long a page was open on a browser - really not valid or reliable data.
Chris Munzo from AspireEDU is a very active Community member, and I have just pinged him to chime in on this discussion.
I hope this helps,
"DropOut Detective?" It's almost as if you want certain students to drop out. You don't even consider students with disabilities or undiagnosed forms of autism. Competent teachers should want to help struggling students in any way possible, not label them as potential "dropouts." Some students with autism or Asperger's syndrome will stare at the page they are working on for possibly up to half an hour (though I've heard anecdotes of longer.) Will these be deemed as non-engaged time? That would be very damaging to one of the students mentioned above. There should be an expected time that a student should take for a particular assignment. If they do not fall within an "acceptable range," contact them and ask them why. Assuming it is not due to a disability is ableist and *possibly* violates the American's with Disabilities Act. Look for solutions that will help your students, not punish those whom appear "bad."
Drop Out Detective merely identifies at risk students and only reports this to you. This is something that teachers should find useful even for differently abled students so that their progress can be better monitored, and their ultimate success enabled through timely intervention.
I am not responsible for the product name, but I also do not find it offensive. This product was originally developed for Higher Ed, where drop-outs are a serious problem at most schools across the country.
Talk with Chris, he can much better explain.
Josh, it sounds like you are very passionate about this topic and advocating for people with disabilities. In this case I think you've misinterpreted what Dropout Detective is meant to do. The sole purpose of this product (which our school has and has been using for 3-4 years) is to find students who are having problems in their courses (for whatever reasons) and get them the help they need to be successful so they DON'T dropout or fail their courses. The entire goal is to HELP students. Whether that's getting them into the tutoring center, talking to someone in advising/counseling, working with financial aid, or getting in touch with our Accommodations office (if they haven't already), the #1 priority of this product and the people who use it is to catch students before they have completely failed the course (or drop the course) and help them with any problem they are having that is preventing them from being successful in their course.
In addition, and which is also mentioned below, Dropout Detective doesn't use "total time online" for a number of reasons, but a big part is that more time does not equal better performance just as less time doesn't equal worse performance.
Thank you for the engaging reply. It does sound as if the program is designed to help, not hurt, at risk students. I am simply concerned that students that don't match the "role-model" ideal will not be punished, as some students simply will not be able to due to certain factors, only one being disability.
Thank You, Thank You for that explanation, I could use this why? because I have a class that I am ready to drop, it's a humanities class and it is really too much for me, I wish I had dropped before it was too late, but that actually was not enough time. I do have a disability and every time I think about this class I just get ill literally the class is "Hum 135" signed up for the class because I received an email informing me that I need to take a humanities class to take before graduation, I thought I could get through this class, but is really more then I thought.
I'm so sorry, Sharon; I used to teach humanities courses, and I have seen how challenging these courses can be for many. Have you looked into your school's program for students with disabilities? Even at this point in the semester, they might be able to get you the help you need. I found this on the website (< click here). Good luck!
Thanks, Kelley L. Meeusen. Hi, Heather Edwards -- Our Dropout Detective solution doesn't measure "total time online" for the reasons that others have mentioned here -- mostly because you can't connect total time online to performance. We do measure and report on other factors that we have shown to be indicative of student success: last time a student logged into Canvas, last time the student accessed each course, last time the student submitted a gradeable activity (something with points attached to it in the gradebook), did the student fail to submit the first assignment of the course (a major risk factor). And we report on those items (and others) daily. Let me know if you'd like to know more.
Thanks Laura for the great discussion on time limits! I try to estimate time frames for the students in our course as well. I do believe it helps them manage their workload better. I am experiencing the same issues with the work outside the classroom-and we are a flipped class. The procrastination does hurt them. But, I am very fortunate knowing I have great teachers/designers right here on campus!
P.S. I understand exactly what you are saying about the engineering students!
Umm! really that's like asking to peep in that all man's naked boot camp to see what really is going on behind the closed doors.
I find this extremely disrespectful to students with certain degrees of Autism or Asperger's syndrome. Time taken on an assignment should be irrelevant to a teacher in most cases. I understand if a student starts an assignment right before it's due and submits it; that would raise concerns of academic integrity. However, all else that you stated was inappropriate and demeaning. I doubt you bigots will ever apologize for a disease that is rarely addressed (Asperger's), but your comment drew a lot of emotion from me. Please, apologize and ask for this function of Canvas in a way that does not demean me or my friends.
Thank you for providing this critical perspective, Josh Schlottman Welcome to the Canvas Community! I am quite sure it was not anyone's intention to insult or demean people with disabilities, and I am hopeful that this discourse will continue in a productive, calm, and measured fashion.
Thank you, I hope I did not come off as hostile in my replies; I am simply passionate about defending those that are often undefended, such as the disabled.
I did not clarify in my first response to you, but Drop Out Detective is not a Canvas function or feature, it is a third-party product that integrates with Canvas,
Time-on-task is as important for the disabled students as for any other. As teachers we have to be able to better gauge accommodations we make for our disabled students, so that we can better measure their ability to complete tasks, their ability to lesarn and progress within the confines of a curriculum, and to better understand what interventions are necessary. I greatly respect the disabled, and that can best be demonstrated by expecting them to achieve the stated learning outcomes for the course with appropriate accommodations. I believe it can also be quite useful for helping to identify potential disabilities like certain degrees of autism and Asperger's Syndrome.
From the website Understood:
Accommodations are changes that remove barriers and provide your child with equal access to learning. Accommodations don’t change what your child is learning. Rather, they change how your child is learning.
Accommodations don’t change what your child is expected to know or learn. They don’t lower expectations. Your child may use an audiobook in American history, but she’s still expected to learn about events like the Civil War. And she still must complete all assignments and take exams, just like her peers. The accommodation simply helps her work around her challenges.
I hope this helps, and please avoid the hyperbole and name calling. This site is populated with Canvas users just like yourself, who are doing their best to provide answers to your questions and solutions for your problems.
I appreciate your explanation and apologize for any hostilities. I am simply passionate in defending those without a voice. I never thought of measuring time-on-task as something that could benefit students with disabilities, but I see your point and hope that it does indeed help all students. I also hope it could help identify disabilities, although I do not want to see anyone diagnosed as having a disability on this basis alone.
Josh Schlottman Thank Youfor taking the time to follow up here. We must all help each other remain open minded and inclusive when creating and using technology that touches our lives in such an important way as teaching and learning. Since it looks like you are still getting settled in here and you obviously have a passion for this, you may find some of the content in some of the groups and spaces interesting such as Accessibility and Instructional Designers.
Oh God, me too!
Most K12 faculty are trained to watch for signs of hidden or undiagnosed disability, and all the K12 schools I have had experience with (children, grandchildren and great grandchildren) simply advise parents that they should have their child checked by an expert.
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