Caveats and reminders when using learning analytics data
Describes caveats, reminders and course design tips when using learning analytics data available in LEAD, the Learner Engagement Analytics Dashboard. (LEAD aggregates data from Canvas, Kaltura and Engage etext.)
LEAD data is not refreshed in real-time; each tool has a different frequency for updating their analytics. There may be a lag time of up to 5 days for when students' access data appears in LEAD.
- This frequency of updates may be useful for reviewing patterns of access across several days or weeks, but does not completely show the most recent activity.
- For example, don't use LEAD to see if students accessed a course resource or assignment immediately before today's class .
Data may report that a student has logged in, and accessed a course item, but cannot indicate how a student intellectually engaged with the course.
- Keep in mind that the data won't reflect whether a student downloaded content to read later, read the materials in-depth, skimmed or read superficially, or accessed reading material but didn't read at all.
- A lack of access data does not necessarily mean a lack of access to course materials. For example, data would not reflect instances where students may have been studying together, if only one student was logged in.
- Data gives general information about the amount of access to a course item. For example, it does not show how much time a student spent on a specific course page or activity (duration).
There may be nuances in what data are logged for content stored outside of the Canvas course, due to how the data are captured or how the course was created.
- For example, links to some embedded content, and some videos or external websites will not be included. If you value this type of access data, become familiar with how this data is recorded in your course before interpreting it.
Here's a few tips to consider when you're adding content to your course:
- If you're using Kaltura for videos, use the Canvas-Kaltura integration from the Canvas rich content editor for more detailed analytics.
- While you can't capture access data to external websites or YouTube videos, you can create a page in your Canvas course that only has a link to one external item; that will provide a proxy of student access to a specific external resource.
- Use clear, consistent and logical naming conventions for course pages, resources and activities; for example Mod-2 Video or Wk2-Homework versus 3375462.pdf.
- Turn off navigation options in Canvas for any tools you're not using. this directs students to the right resources, and data is more meaningful since students are accessing content the way you intended.