Archives for September 2017

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Canvas Stats Digest: First Three Weeks (Aug 21—Sep 11)

USERS – Now that we have a few weeks behind us, we can look back at what the data show us about student Canvas use, and we can begin to see some patterns emerge. For example, on what days do students log in the most?  The answer to that is not surprising–Saturdays are consistently the least busy day on Canvas, with an average of only 2000 users checking in.  Sundays, however, are when at least half of S&T students (about 4000 users or so) actually start the academic week. Usage shoots up in the early part of the week, and by Wednesday the number of active students has climbed to over 7000 users. By Thursday the usage starts to taper downward again.

If Saturday is the nadir of Canvas participation, then Wednesday is the zenith! A quick look at this up-and-down pattern of student usage suggests that Monday or Wednesday may be the optimum day for instructors to post things on Canvas, and that Saturday due dates are likely to be missed by all but the most diligent students.

The most common times for students to be active in Canvas are between the hours of 8AM to 10PM. There are a few hundred night owls up past Midnight, but the number of users drops drastically after 2AM.


TECHNOLOGY – Desktop and Laptop computers remain the primary way that students interact with Canvas, as 90% of all sessions in the first three weeks were made on these more “traditional” types of computing devices. Only 10% of sessions were on a mobile device. Of that 10%, only 1.3% were on a tablet computer such as an iPad. That number is interesting–are tablets a passing fad? Have phones surpassed the tablet as a more compact and useful device in general? Perhaps it’s just that tablets are great for passive media consumption, but not as good for content creation like students are tasked with inside of Canvas.

As for browsers, Chrome is still crushing the nearest competition with a monolithic 74% of all sessions. Safari is at 10%, followed by Edge at 7%, Firefox at 5%, and Internet Explorer at a dismal 2% of all sessions.


COURSES – Chem 1310 is still in the lead as “Most popular Canvas course” (counted by pageviews), with Freshman Engineering close behind. By sheer enrollment numbers alone, it’s going to be hard to beat these two courses. Mech Eng 1720 rounds out the top three, with Eng Man 1210 and Calc 2 completing the top five.

A surprise addition has recently joined the ranks of “Most popular”, that of Comp Sci 1972, a course on Matlab programming. With only 175 student enrollments, Comp Sci 1972 is punching way above its weight to make it into the top ten most visited pages in Canvas!


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