Built-in Analytics

Canvas offers several built-in analytics and statistics tools that allow instructors to access data about their courses.  Instructors may utilize the data to inform the ongoing process of course design.  They may also utilize the data to track student use of Canvas.  Below we offer links to Instructure's guides about these tools as well as use cases instructors may consider.

Canvas Guides for Instructors

Caution: Page view and participation counts in analytics exclude activity on mobile devices.

Use Cases

  1. Look for trends in late and missing submissions. The second chart of the course analytics page visualizes late and missing submissions for all assignments with due dates. Tool tips for the graph show distribution percentages and due dates. Moving due dates relative to holidays, other due dates, or days of the week might increase on-time submissions.
  2. Compare the score distributions of all graded assignments. The third chart of the course analytics page visualizes score distribution using box and whisker plots. This can quickly show which assignments are outliers (whether because scores are unusually widely or narrowly distributed). Revision of questions, directions, or lesson plans might improve distribution the next time the course is taught.
  3. View a summary of assignment submission methods. The assignments tab on the course statistics page shows how many assignments allow the various submission methods (including quiz and discussion but excluding external tools) and how many submissions have been made using each method. If a particular submission method is little used, e.g. text entry, removing that option from assignments might streamline processes of submission for students and annotation for teachers.
  4. View statistics about quiz questions and responses. The quiz statistics page summarizes responses and shows the discrimination index for objective questions. Changing question and distractor wording might improve these indicators of question difficulty and clarity. Quiz statistics work for quizzes with no more than 1000 submissions or 100 questions.
  5. Get an overview of an individual student’s submission time and grade percentile by assignment, course page views by week, and direct messages with teachers sent via the Conversations / Inbox tool. The students’ names in the list at the bottom of course analytics page links to this overview. There is also a link from the information card that appears on the right when you click a name in the People tool. You can message a student from a link next to their current total grade to encourage them to participate more, submit assignments on time, etc.
  6. Get a detailed view of course contents accessed by an individual student. The individual’s access report shows any course content they’ve accessed, how many times, and how many times. This is most useful for determining whether a student has viewed certain materials in which they do not participate or submit (required readings, for example).
    Note: Implementing module requirements and prerequisites can remove questions about whether students are opening required readings before moving on.