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LEAD: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Learning Engagement Analytics Dashboard [UW-Madison]

As of June 22, 2023, you must enable VPN to access LEAD. To learn how to access WiscVPN (UW-Madison's VPN service), please see How to Install, Connect, Uninstall, and Disconnect WiscVPN Palo Alto GlobalProtect

This document details frequently asked questions regarding the Learner Engagement Analytics Daskboard (LEAD).

Accessing LEAD

Where can I find LEAD? Can I access LEAD directly from Canvas? 

  • The current semester is at
  • There’s not a link from Canvas directly to LEAD; however you can access the link to the current semester from the LEAD Overview KB doc.
  • For easiest access to the current and prior semesters of LEAD (each semester has a separate link) as well as other learning analytics resources, add the Learning Analytics for Instructors Widget to your MyUW page. 
    1. Only instructors will be able to add this widget.
    2. Each semester has a separate URL so that you can access and compare general patterns of student activity between semesters; for example, you can review fall semester activity compared to spring semester by launching each semester in a separate tab.

Do I need VPN to access LEAD?

Yes, you need to enable VPN before accessing LEAD. To learn how to install and access UW-Madison's VPN (WiscVPN), please see How to Install, Connect, Uninstall, and Disconnect WiscVPN Palo Alto GlobalProtect

I’m an auxiliary instructor in a course - can I get access to LEAD? 

  • Yes! Starting in fall semester of 2021, auxiliary and supervisory instructors can access LEAD, along with principal instructors
  • Always remember this is FERPA-protected student data, and LEAD should be used to benefit the student’s success in accordance with UW-Madison’s Learning Analytics Guiding Principles

Can I access previous semester course data?

  • Perhaps… it depends on your Canvas instructor role. Only principal instructors had access to LEAD prior to Fall 21, so they will be able to access LEAD for earlier semesters. Auxiliary and supervisory instructors will be able to access all semesters from Fall 21 onwards.
  • Add theLearning Analytics for Instructors Widget to your MyUW page for access to all semesters of LEAD. Each semester has a separate URL/link so you can compare access and activity between semesters. Only instructors will be able to add this widget. 

Do I need a Tableau account/license? Do I need to know how to use Tableau?

  • No - course dashboards are automatically created in Tableau for each current semester, for each for-credit course. (Note: Tableau is UW-Madison’s institutional data visualization tool. The LEAD Overview KB doc provides information about how to use LEAD; additionaly, demos are regularly scheduled and you can also request an individual consultation through the Help Desk.)

Is there a cost for LEAD?

  • No - this is a centrally supported/provided tool and departments and instructors are not charged back for using it. 

Do I need to request a LEAD dashboard?

  • No - course dashboards are automatically created for each current semester, for each for-credit course. Dashboards are available in Tableau, UW-Madison’s institutional data visualization tool.

Can I use LEAD for my noncredit course?

  • No, at this time LEAD is only available to instructors teaching for-credit courses. We are hoping to expand access to LEAD in the future. 

LEAD Visualizations

I’m not seeing what I expected to see in LEAD. Some of the activity seems to be missing.

  • Double-check that you have clicked the “Apply” button if you adjust filters; remember if you switch from one visualization to the next, the filters are persistent until you change them back/again. More information about using the filters is provided in the LEAD Overview KB doc.
  • Again, please don’t hesitate to send us questions. You can also request a consultation by contacting the Help Desk.Consultants can look at your dashboard with you, and discuss specific questions you may have.
  • How your course is designed can also impact what data is available in LEAD. Check out the course design tips for some specific recommendations.

Why don’t I see all my Kaltura videos in LEAD? 

  • It depends on how the video was added/embedded in your course. Currently, LEAD tracks the Canvas/Kaltura integration when a video is embedded into Canvas using the direct integration tool to Kaltura Media. This can be accessed under the blue V icon which launches more external tools. (If the blue V icon is not visible in the Canvas rich text editor, click on the three dots/ellipses in Canvas to launch more tools.) If you use an embed code, an iframe or if you link out to a video, those analytics won’t be captured. 
    Image shows text editor in Canvas with Kaltura icon displayed

Why can’t I see dates in the Heat Map? 

  • The default view of the Page Views by Date and Hour shows you the days of the week - all the Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc. across the course for the semester to date. Remember you can filter by date, and see a week or just a few weeks or days at a time. Adjust the date slider at the top of the visualization (or click on the start and end dates to activate the calendars.) The example below shows one week of activity. 
    the "date activity viewed" field is highlighted, which causes the calendar menu to open (also displayed)
    The "page views by date and hour" visualization is displayed

Does LEAD track instructor clicks on the page?

  • No - just student access data is tracked. 
  • Keep in mind the data won't reflect whether a student downloaded content to read later, read the materials in-depth, skimmed or read superficially, or accessed material but didn't read at all. A lack of access data does not necessarily mean a lack of access. For example, data would not reflect instances where students may have been studying together, if only one student was logged in. Please review caveats and reminders when using learning analytics data. 

Can I download data from LEAD? 

  • Currently you can download high-level summary data as it appears in LEAD - go to the top right corner of the page in Tableau, and the download icon allows you to download an image, a PDF, or a PowerPoint document. 
    The download menu is open over a "page views by activity type" visualization, showing download options available

Does LEAD show time spent on a page/activity?

  • No - it doesn’t show duration. We know instructors are interested in knowing how much time students are spending on course activities, but at this time that’s not available in LEAD. Keep in mind that duration can be tricky to calculate; students may click on a course resource or launch a video and walk away to grab a sandwich, or jump to a different tab in their browser.

What is the time delay? 

  • Approximately 72 hours from students' access activity; however this can range up to 5 days. We are working to improve this data latency.
  • Keep in mind that while data is not refreshed in real-time, LEAD still provides you with unique views of student activity in a course. Each tool has a different frequency for updating their analytics.

Can LEAD drill down to a specific page? Can LEAD tell me if one student accessed a specific page?

    1. Yes! It’s easier to filter first by Main Activity Type (so you have fewer items appearing in the Name of Activity dropdown. For example, you won't have to scroll through a list of all your course Announcements, Assignments, Quizzes and Discussions if you're just looking for access data about a specific Kaltura Video).
    2. Then choose a specific activity using the Name of Activity filter. 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.
    3. 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.)
    4. To see if a specific student accessed that item, uncheck All in the Student Name filter and then select the student of interest. Be sure to click Apply any time you make changes using the filters. 

KeywordsLEAD,learning,analytics,community,practice,"learning analytics community of practice", FAQ,Learning, Engagement, Analytics, Dashboard   Doc ID95101
OwnerLearn@UW Madison .GroupLearn@UW-Madison
Created2019-10-18 12:28 CSTUpdated2023-06-26 11:28 CST
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison, Learning Analytics
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