Using LEAD Page Views by Activity Type (Bar Chart)

The Learner Engagement Analytics Dashboard (LEAD) is a course-level dashboard that provides visualizations of student access to materials in Canvas courses. The LEAD tab named “Page Views by Activity Type” offers bar chart visualizations that show data regarding student access activity by category of activity type or by specific activities.

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

The LEAD Page Views by Activity Type data could help offer insights into students' access of course materials. This information may be useful to you to find out: 

  • Which documents, media, or activities students are accessing. 
  • The amount of student access to various activity types, for example Kaltura Videos or Canvas Discussions
  • The amount of student access to specific course materials, such as an individual content page or video.

What data are available in LEAD?

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 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.

Data visualization format: Bar Chart

The visualization format is a Bar Chart

  • Horizontal bars represent quantitative data, the lengths of the bars will vary, depending on how many times an activity is accessed. For example the longer bars reflect that students are accessing that content more than the shorter bars.
  • Depending on the types of content and activity you have in your course, as well as how you have your course setup, you will see different bars and counts displayed here. (Note: for this example, numerous courses were selected from the LEAD admin interface, the data displayed is aggregate data across many courses. This screenshot is not typical of what one instructor might see for one course, after one month of activity.)
  • For example in the screenshot below, the instructors may be using few Discussions, resulting in a relatively low count of Page Views.
  • On the other hand, there is a much higher Page View count of Canvas Quizzes indicating more students access this activity type.
  • Notice there's not a horizontal bar/Page Count for Engage E-Text; it suggests that this activity type is not used in the courses that were selected for the example.

LEAD Page Views by Activity Type screenshot

Filtering the data

The default view is to show the Page View count data for all students in a course, counted from course activities from the start of the semester to within 5 days of the current time. (LEAD data is aggregated from multiple sources that are updated at various frequencies, depending on the tool.) 

This may be good to see general trends of access to the course materials.

If you want to see the Page View counts for a specific piece of content, or for an individual student, you can use the filtering functions on the left of the screen.

If you want to see the data for a particular week, for a category of activity types, for a specific document, or for selected students, you can use the filtering functions available on the left. If you're teaching more than one course this semester, you'll also be able to filter by course name.

  • Changes you make using any of the filters on one tab, will persist as you navigate to the other tabs.

Filtering by date range

You can filter the data to a date range by choosing a start date, end date, or both.
  • Click on the start and end dates to launch the calendars; it's easier to select dates from the calendars than using the scrollbar.
  • The Page View counts will adjust according to the selected dates. This may be useful for reviewing access trends by time.
LEAD Page Views by Activity Type - filter by date

Filtering by activity type and specific activity

You can filter by Main Activity Type. The list in the drop-down will vary depending on how you have your course set up. For example, if you don't use Engage eText or Kaltura Videos, those options will not appear in the Main Activity Type drop-down.

  • The default is All --> Uncheck All and then select one or more Main Activity Type --> Choose Apply. (You may have to click away/off the visualization after you apply the filter.)
  • This step is optional when you are interested in a specific activity but it makes it easier to filter the choices in the next step when you filter by the Name of Activity. Filtering first by Main Activity Type will help you more quickly locate a specific activity (without having to scroll through a list of all your course Announcements, Discussions, Kaltura Videos or other types of content.
  • This example shows filtering on Kaltura Videos.
  • Notice the Page Views By Activity Type count is the same as in the screenshot, above (215,127).

LEAD Page Views by Activity Type - filter by Activity Type

You can drill down to a specific activity using the Name of Activity filter.

  • In this example, the Main Activity Type that was selected is Kaltura Videos so only video titles will be listed in the Name of Activity drop-down.
  • The list of items in the drop-down will reflect how you have named files, pages, assignments etc. in your Canvas course. Use consistent naming conventions and logical file names to help you locate a specific item; for example Mod-2 Video or Discussion Week 2
  • The default is All --> Uncheck All and then select one or more Name of Activity --> Choose Apply. (You may have to click away/off the visualization after you apply the filter.) 
  • This example below shows the data filtered to a single Kaltura Video (the name of the video has been obscured), and notice how the Page View count has now changed (198).

LEAD Page Views by Activity Type - filter by specific Activity

Filtering by student

If you want to check on a student of interest, use the Student Name filter.
  • The default is All --> Uncheck All and then select a Student Name --> Choose Apply. (You may have to click away/off the visualization after you apply the filter.)
  • You can select more than one student.

LEAD Page Views by Activity Type - filter by student

Using the data

Consider what student engagement looks like in your course, and what indicators you look for in addition to online access. For example, you may consider quality of work, interactions with classmates, types of questions and comments made.

  • You could take a ‘wait and see’ approach, and check back on the situation in the future
  • You could consider reaching out to individual students
  • If you see broad patterns among several students, you may consider taking whole-class actions, such as reminders of participation expectation, or revisiting challenging content
  • This data may be useful to you between semesters as part of considering course redesign
Wise, Alyssa Friend, and Yeonji Jung. "Teaching with analytics: Towards a situated model of instructional decision-making." Journal of Learning Analytics 6.2 (2019): 53-69.

Caveats and reminders when using learning analytics data

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.

See Also:

Keywords:LEAD, learning analytics, guiding principles, data, FERPA, Data governance   Doc ID:107165
Owner:Kari J.Group:Learning Analytics
Created:2020-11-13 12:26 CDTUpdated:2023-07-05 14:55 CDT
Sites:Learn@UW-Madison, Learning Analytics
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