New Feature Spotlight: Canvas Analytics Beta

New Feature Spotlight: Canvas Analytics Beta

By Matt Lisle, Director of Digital Learning Technologies at C21U

In October, Canvas quietly added a new feature called Analytics Beta. As the name implies, this is not a fully realized tool, but it does provide some helpful insights and tools for your Canvas courses. Here are three things you can do with Analytics Beta:

1) Spot an assignment that’s giving students trouble

In the screenshot below, you’ll see a chart that displays assignments and grades. Each assignment appears along the X-axis, and its average grade appears along the Y-axis. At a glance, you can see that the “Lab Grouping” assignment received abnormally low grades (when compared to other assignments’ grades in this course). The teacher can click on that assignment to reveal more details. In this case, the teacher might consider revisiting this content in an upcoming class session.

2) Send targeted messages to groups of students

Teachers can also easily intervene with students using the dashboard. In this case, the teacher clicks on the problematic “Lab Grouping” assignment to reveal more details. The detail card displays a grade distribution for the assignment. By selecting the 80% range, the teacher sees that eight students fall into this category. By clicking the envelope icon in the top right, the teacher can quickly send a customized message to those eight students. He or she might send a different message to the six students in the 20% range by following the same steps. This allows the teacher to send targeted messages about this assignment to six groups of students with just a few clicks.

3) Spot when a student is particularly struggling

Let’s suppose a student arrived at office hours to ask why his or her overall grade is so low. The teacher could quickly compare the student’s grades to the course averages by adding them to the filter at the top of the dashboard (in this case, the student’s actual name has been disguised with grey rectangles). The student’s scores appear as green squares, and the class scores appear as blue circles. The teacher can quickly spot that this student scored a 40% on the “Lab Basic queries” assignment, while the rest of the class scored an average of 82% on that same assignment.

If you’d like to start using this tool, follow the step-by-step instructions at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-15581-canvas-release-analytics-beta-student-grade. Be sure to provide feedback to Instructure’s product team as you use the tool, as it’s under active development.