Using LEAD Grades by Page Views (Scatter Plot)

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 “Grades by Page Views” offers 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.

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

The LEAD Grades by Page Views data could help offer insights into students' course access in relationship with grades. This information may be useful to you to find out: 

  • Current broad patterns of distribution of grades (as recorded in the Canvas gradebook) among all students 
  • Relative number of students with grades within a range of values 
  • Range of student Page Views counts 
  • Trend of the relationship between student grades and counts of Page Views 
  • Identifying outliers - where students fall outside of particular ranges, such as having grades lower than a threshold of interest, or differing from the majority of their classmates' grades or Page Views

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 the current semester of LEAD at You will be able to log in by following the instructions on the screen. 

For easiest access to 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.

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

Data visualization format: Scatter Plot

This visualization format is a Scatter Plot.
  • It 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, the placement on the Y (vertical) axis is based on their current numerical grade.

LEAD screenshot of Grades by Page Views scatterplot

Values for individual students

Hovering your cursor over a dot reveals data about the individual student's Grade and Page Views.

LEAD screenshot example of hovering cursor over individual value

Trend line

The visualization also draws a trend line for your whole course comparing Grades to Page Views. This line is a representation of the relationship between those two variables. 
  • A line that slopes upwards toward the right implies a strong relationship between Page Views and Grades, implying that when one increases, the other increases.
  • A horizontal line implies little relationship.
  • A line that slopes downward implies a negative relationship.

There are two factors to keep in mind when interpreting the trend line:

  • While there is usually a general, course-wide relationship between Grades and Page Views, it does not prove that one causes the other.
  • When considering results, you may find that individual students do not follow the trend. As with any comparison, the relationship between Grades and Page Views should not be viewed as determinative for any individual student.

Hovering your cursor over the trend line shows values of the statistical relationship between the two variables.

LEAD screenshot - Grades by Page View  Trend Line

Filtering the data

The default view is to show the data for all students in a course, with their Canvas Gradebook Percentage Score, and all Page Views 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 grade distribution and levels of access to the course materials.

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 date, and the Grade displayed will remain as the current grade. This may be useful for reviewing access trends by time.
    • Note: Student grades will always display the overall grade for the entire semester. If you use the date filter and narrow down to an earlier or shorter period of time in the semester, the Page View counts will be limited to the selected dates, however the grades will always be the current (or final) grade in the course.
LEAD Grades by Page Views screenshot example. Filter by date.

Filtering by activity type and specific activity

You can filter using the 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.)
  • The Page View counts will adjust according to what you've selected; you can choose one or several activity types. 
  • The Grade displayed will remain as the current grade.
  • This may be useful to review for access trends to a Main Activity Type, and for changes in the Trend Line showing the relationship between Grades and Page Views of the selected Main Activity Type. (Does the scatter plot look different for Kaltura Videos than it does for Canvas Assignments?)
  • Filtering first by Main Activity Type will also help you more quickly locate a specific activity using the next filter for the Name of Activity. (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).

LEAD Grades by Page Views screenshot example. 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.)
  • All of the Kaltura Videos in this example appear in the Name of Activity drop-down; however only one specific video is selected, below.
  • Notice how the scatter plot visualization has changed.

LEAD Grades by Page Views screenshot example. Filter by activity

Filtering by student

If you want to check on a student of interest, you can select them from 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 Grades by Page Views screenshot example. 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:106987
Owner:Kari J.Group:Learning Analytics
Created:2020-11-04 18:47 CSTUpdated:2021-09-10 16:24 CST
Sites:Learning Analytics
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