In a synchronous format, one often takes attendance or tracks how students participate in real-time discussions. In an asynchronous format, it can be a little more challenging to see how a student is participating. Please review the various ways below that Canvas offers instructors who are looking to track participation in an asynchronous online or hybrid course.
When you are looking at a student’s profile from the People link in the Course Navigation menu, it tells you when the student last logged in. You can also view the various times they have logged in and viewed course materials. For more information about what this feature offers, please visit the How do I view the course access report for an individual user? guide.
New Analytics - Students
Student analytics show you how well a particular student is doing in your course. You can also view student analytics after your course has concluded. To view more information about student analytics, please refer to the guide called: How do I view analytics for a student in a course?
New Analytics - Course
Course analytics will show you activity, assignment submissions, grades, and students. You can view analytics in both active and concluded courses. To view more information about course analytics, please refer to the guide called: What is New Analytics?
Participation in Discussion Boards
A weekly discussion is a great way to have your students interact with not only you as an instructor but also with their classmates. This can be in the format of a large-class discussion or small groups. Students can incorporate not only text into their posts but also hyperlinks, photos and videos/personal captures.
When you are grading the discussion each week, you can comment on their participation and give feedback in the Speedgrader.
Creating short (about 5 questions) check-in quizzes each week is a good way to further check a student’s progress with the course material. These can be used as reading quizzes, or to check that they have interacted with certain learning materials such as watched a video or lecture. For more information on creating quizzes in canvas, please review the guide: How do I create a quiz with individual questions? You may also want to review our FAQ for tips on how to reduce cheating in and online environment.
It is typical to have assignments due throughout the one’s course, but having some sort of submission, whether it is a quiz or assessment each week in addition to a discussion helps show that a student is synthesizing the material that they are consuming. This can be a personal reflection, report or short paper. Having low-stakes assignments helps the student retain the information as they are forced to work with it on their own time and it helps instructors see that if a student may need extra help or if they are succeeding in an online format. For further instructions on how to create an assignment in Canvas please review the guide: How do I create an assignment?
When an instructor is not physically seeing their students in a classroom it can be difficult to know if there are students who are not participating. Non-participation is not necessarily a sign of a lazy student, it can also be a sign of a student who is struggling with the material. Offering regular opportunities for interaction not only helps an instructor track participation, but also gives opportunities for early intervention if it is needed.