LEAD - Are students struggling in your course?

The Learner Engagement Analytics Dashboard (LEAD) is a course-level dashboard that provides visualizations of student access to materials in Canvas courses. This document describes a process you can use with LEAD to help identify struggling students, as well as some reminders and caveats for use.

Note: This document describes a learning analytics approach to help support student success.

What data are available in LEAD?

Campus tools such as Canvas, Kaltura MediaSpace (video/audio/images), and Unizin Engage eText are connected to student roster information. This allows student data to be connected with a record of their course access and interaction, such as:

  • Course pages or videos they’ve clicked on
  • Grades stored in the Canvas gradebook
  • Participation with activities such as assignment submissions, or discussion posting
  • Times of access

More information about LEAD is provided in the Learner Engagement Analytics Dashboard Overview KB doc, including more details about the data and the official data definitions.


How to access LEAD

LEAD is currently available for instructors teaching for-credit courses who are enrolled in Canvas as a principal instructor, auxiliary instructor, or supervisory instructor.

Instructors can access LEAD at go.wisc.edu/lead. Follow the instructions on the screen to log in. 

Once inside LEAD you will have access to a home page and three visualization pages. 

  • Page Views by Date and Hour 
  • Grades by Page Views 
  • Page Views by Activity Type

For easy access to other learning analytics resources, add the Learning Analytics for Instructors Widget to your MyUW page.


How can you use the data available in LEAD?

Some indicators of students struggling with your course may be shown in LEAD data as low grades, low access to materials online, or both. In your teaching, you may use other signs as well that give clues about which students are struggling, such as their attendance or participation. When considering data in this example, think of it as a potential complement to other indicators that a student might be struggling.

The LEAD Grades vs Page Views tab displays a scatter plot visualization that shows data regarding students’ scores from the Canvas gradebook, plotted in relationship to a count of their course Page Views. This visualization can be useful to check for potentially struggling students since the plot style can allow you to see instances of students with low counts of page views, low grades, or both.

Scatter plot visualization

The scatter plot visualization plots two different measures for each student -- their grade and their number of Page Views, representing each student with a dot.

  • The dot’s placement on the X (horizontal) axis is based on the number of Page Views; students with fewer page views will be plotted toward the left.
  • The placement on the Y (vertical) axis is based on their Grade in the Canvas gradebook; students with lower grades will be plotted toward the bottom.

LEAD Grades by Page Views screenshot

Example: Student with low Page Views and low Grade

In this example the scatter plot shows an example of one student whose sum of Page Views and their current Canvas Gradebook score are lower than their classmates. This student's data appears as a dot far to the left and towards the bottom of the scatter plot. Hovering the cursor over the dot reveals a popup window that includes the student name, the sum of Canvas Page Views, and the student's grade.

LEAD screenshot Grades by Page Views individual student values

Example: Students with grades lower than 60

You can also use the scatter plot to look at general patterns of students' Page Views and Grades. In this example, a pattern can be seen that some students have a course grade of less than 60, although most students' grades are higher.

LEAD screenshot Grades by Page Views emphasizing grades lower than 60

Using the data

[Doc 105064 content is unavailable at this time.]

Caveats and reminders when using learning analytics data

[Doc 105063 content is unavailable at this time.]


KeywordsLEAD, learning analytics, guiding principles, data, FERPA, Data governance   Doc ID106933
OwnerKari J.GroupLearning Analytics
Created2020-11-02 10:54 CSTUpdated2023-05-30 17:45 CST
SitesLearn@UW-Madison, Learning Analytics
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