Upcoming Canvas analytics seen at InstCon0017

Blog by Travis Cox, Director Learning Enhancement and Innovation

Reviewing some of my photos taken at InstructureCon 2017, I discovered a few pics from a keynote which had not been more widely shared. These show some of the analytics which were (from memory) to be delivered in the next 3-4 months after the conference.

I was in the front row and had an uninterrupted view but then the cameraman stepped back in front of me during this part of the presentation so my view was a little blocked…

ground hog photobomb

One of the new elements will be a visualisation of multiple assignments through the course. This screenshot appeared to be a course with ~30 assignments, with each dot showing the average mark for the class.

photo from InstCon keynote showing upcoming analytics interface

You can see up in the top right there was a quick summary of late and missing submissions. One of the assessments obviously has a lower average mark than the rest, so that was the focus for further digging.

Clicking the dot on the chart showed further detail about the assessment, including a new histogram. I took the photo after a few seconds, by which time it was demonstrated that the instructor could click on the histogram and select a particular subset of the students (in this case, 10-30%) and the information on screen would update immediately to reflect the detail for just that subset of students.

photo from InstCon keynote showing upcoming analytics interface

This appeared to show 11 of the 15 late submissions occurred in this assignment, within this cohort. This level of detail will be of particular interest to those who are seeking further detail about their course, wanting to understand the nature of their assessment activity in more detail.

In the spirit of minimising clicks and navigating elsewhere within the course to achieve a task, it was possible to send a message to those selected students using the envelope icons near the top right.

photo from InstCon keynote showing ability to message students

It looks like we will also be able to filter data by individual student, shown relative to the course average mark with their Canvas avatar added to the chart.

upcoming analytics interface showing student relative to course

Section-filtered data was also possible in the demonstration, though we didn’t see groups.

upcoming analytics interface showing section-level performance on assessments

For large courses with sections used for tutorial / practical / workshop enrolments, this should allow instructors to see if there’s a particular class where the average mark is consistently higher/lower than might be expected.

All of this was being pitched for delivery in the next few months. As with any vendor demonstration, I always retain a healthy scepticism about the claims for when and what will be delivered, but I’m sure our friends at Instructure have an alternative view.

I find your lack of faith disturbing

Frankly, even a partial delivery of these previewed interfaces will extend the default insights for those of us exploring the learner behaviour and performance in an effort to continually refine course design, so I’m looking forward to see what’s delivered.

Travis is the Director Learning Enhancement and Innovation at the University of Adelaide.

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