Canvas,  Educational Technology,  Program Evaluation,  Remote Teaching

Using Canvas New Analytics to see how students are doing in your course.

Having to teach remotely may have left some of us feeling like we are teaching in a vacuum. Without the usual cues that face-to-face teaching provides, it can be difficult to tell whether students are engaging or participating with their course materials. Even if you feel like you have a good sense of how your students are engaging with the course, New Analytics can help confirm these feelings. 

What is New Analytics? New Analytics is a tool that can track and report student activity within Canvas. Student activity is defined by two data points: Page Views and Participations. The table below shows the difference between the two.

Page Views • Are based on requests to the server (this means that the numbers of page views may be greater than what we traditionally think of as a page view).  • Therefore, page view data can be used as an approximation to student activity and not an absolute metric.   Note: This data is most useful when seeking to understand if activity did occur, and as a means of a comparison across students within a course or when viewing trends from week to week. Participations • Announcements - posts a new comment to an announcement  • Assignments - submits an assignment  • Collaborations - loads a collaboration to view/edit a document  • Conferences - joins a web conference  • Discussions - posts a new comment to a discussion  • Pages - creates a page  • Quizzes – starts or submits a quiz Note: These actions generate analytics for participations
How to access New Analytics.

You can easily access New Analytics through the course Home Page or from the course navigation menu (if you have set it to be visible in the menu).

Accessing New analytics

Using New Analytics

Weekly online activity

You can use New Analytics to view and compare several items such as average course grades, which show if students are keeping up with their assignmentsand average weekly online participation which show if students are engaging with the course material. Using these analytics can help you to identify at- risk students based on their course grades or participation criteria.

Once at-risk students have been identified, you can intervene and send targeted messages to their Canvas Inbox. By sending a personal message to your students, you are showing them that you care and are available to help them with any issues they are experiencing. If you prefer, you can also send emails. For instructions to generate a list of student emails using New Analytics, watch this video.

New Analytics also generates reports on missing, late, or excused assignments, class roster, and course activity that can be easily viewed and download.

Looking at Particular Students

If you want to know how a particular student is doing in your course, you can access New Analytics for individual students or the Course Access Report for that student. The access report will show you:

  • The content the user has viewed.
  • The number of times the user viewed the content. A view is counted each time a user navigates to the URL where the content resides or downloads an attachment.
  • The number of times the user participated (if applicable, such as posting to a discussion or submitting an assignment).
  • The last time the user viewed the content.

You can also access a student’s Interaction Report where you can:

  • view the last time you interacted with the student
  • see the current grade for that student
  • see if there are any submitted but ungraded assignments for the student
  • quickly access the Conversations page to send a message to the student by clicking the message icon.

Course statistics give a glimpse into which assignments, discussions and quizzes are engaging students and what might be improved in the future, knowing this helps you to better engage your students.

A recent new feature in New Analytics is Canvas Online Attendance  which helps instructors who are teaching online who want to define attendance around students’ interactions within Canvas.  

Good to Know:

  • Page views and participation metrics include an aggregate across all devices (i.e., desktop, mobile).
  • Data is refreshed in New Analytics every 24 hours – so check the time the data was last updated in the course, as content may be outdated compared to recent course activity and student submissions.
  • Only active and completed student enrollments are included in data for New Analytics. Deleted or inactive user enrollment will not generate data.

If you find yourself wondering whether students are looking at your course, engaging with the content or keeping on top of the coursework, a glimpse into the New Analytics and Course Statistics is a good place to start. If you find that students are not engaging or are falling behind – reach out to them. It could make the difference between them completing the course or not.


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