Tips for setting up Canvas for optimal data in StudyCoach

Modified on Fri, 29 Jul 2022 at 05:35 PM

How do you improve your Canvas environment to ensure complete and accurate data in StudyCoach?

Much of the data in StudyCoach comes from Canvas, such as behavioral indicators, last log-in information, and learning outcomes information. This data is presented in StudyCoach in a student-centered view. The question that often arises within educational institutions is the following: How can I ensure that the data in StudyCoach is most representative of a student's actual study progress?

And furthermore, what is the best way to set up my Canvas environment to have representative data in StudyCoach? After all, StudyCoach adds the most value for coaches and students when Canvas is used effectively.


  How can I encourage data collection in Canvas regarding behavioral indicators?

  How to improve the representativeness of the learning outcomes dashboard in StudyCoach?

How can I encourage data collection in Canvas regarding behavioral indicators?


Data regarding the behavioral indicator Attendance is collected when the Roll Call Attendance LTI is used within courses by instructors. More information about this LTI can be found here. When the Roll Call Attendance LTI is used, it is important that instructors accurately indicate each class which students are present, late, or absent. Only when this data is consistently entered by instructors each class, a complete picture can be formed about a student's attendance in the behavioral indicator 'Attendance'. 

Page view

The page view data in StudyCoach is measured by the number of times a student visits pages in Canvas. To stimulate students to visit multiple different pages within the Canvas environment, a lecturer can create multiple pages in a module, preferably with a variety of elements such as discussions, practice quizzes and assignments to stimulate participation as well. Here is a trick to stimulate the correctness of the data in StudyCoach:

✓ Make use of the module requirements to stimulate students to visit different Canvas pages

The requirements can stimulate students to...

... visit pages to receive access to more learning content that is otherwise still locked.

... visit pages in a specific order to structure the students' learning journey.

More information on how to implement module requirements in your course can be found here.



The data of participation is measured by the number of participation in Canvas, as described in the article 'Behavioral indicators'. If there are fewer chances in a Canvas course to participate in an action, the data of the behavioral indicator Participation will not be as representative as when the component is actively embedded in a Canvas course. 

How can you as a lecturer boost the Canvas usage so that the data of the behavioral indicator participation is stimulated? Here are some tricks:

✓ Build (weekly) quizzes and assignments in your Canvas course

Quizzes and assignments can easily be built in Canvas by teachers and be used to let students (voluntarily) practice their basic knowledge of a subject. Deadlines can be set for these tests and assignments to encourage students to get started on time.

Quizzes can be incorporated as Classic and New QuizzesPlease make sure that these quizzes are embedded in a student's learning journey and are incorporated multiple times during a course span to create more data and gain more insights into the study progress of your students. 

Worried about the amount of work and time it costs you as a teacher to create practice quizzes and assignments? Please remember that:

... one can recycle the questions one builds in practice quizzes multiple times and in multiple courses by using question banks.

... one can recycle the assignments multiple times and in multiple courses by exporting and importing course content

... a practice quiz or assignment may help students to internalize the basic knowledge of a course which stimulates a higher level of retention of the course content on multiple moments in the course span. 
... a practice quiz or assignment gives you as a teacher insights into the current knowledge level of your students. It can be used to analyze which particular subjects a student or a group of students still finds difficult, and you can adjust your classes that way to perfectly match the zone of proximal development of the students.

✓ Build (weekly) discussions in your Canvas courses

Discussions can be used in Canvas to easily stimulate the interactive conversation between students, between students and the content and/or between the teacher and the students. A discussion can easily be created by the teacher within Canvas. To stimulate active participation in a voluntary discussion, a teacher can set the following settings:
... "Users must post before seeing replies"

... "Add to student to-do"


In the behavioral indicator submission, the data from Canvas is clustered concerning the behavior of a student with regard to handing in assignments. Only the information regarding assignments with a deadline and for which the submission type is not 'No submission' is clustered in this indicator. 

Incorporating assignments with a deadline regularly stimulates students to learn during the entire course time span, preventing the phenomenon 'learning a day before the test' and stimulating linear learning instead. Did you know that...

...also media recordings can be handed in as an assignment? can restrict which file uploads you would like to receive as a lecturer? can indicate the number of attempts a student has to submit the assignment? can let peers review each other's assignment in Canvas, even with the rubric you as a lecturer use as well?

  TipDo you want students to take formative quizzes, participate in discussions, or do assignments in their own time? Stimulate them to understand the purpose of these activities and reward them for doing them by using the Canvas module prerequisites in your Canvas course. 

With this feature in Canvas, one can set certain expectations to students, for example: 
... a certain score must be obtained for a practice test before a student can access the follow-up information of a certain week. 
... the module elements have to be followed in a certain sequential order to stimulate the optimal learning experience. 
... students must finish a module before another module can be accessed

How to improve the representativeness of the learning outcomes dashboard in StudyCoach?

The learning outcomes overview in StudyCoach can best be implemented when certain agreements have been made on study-, year- and course-level. If one follows the following steps before making the learning outcomes overview visible in StudyCoach, the data represented there will be more complete and representative.

  1. First, start thinking on a meta-level: "What goals do we want students to have reached at the end of their study?" 

    These goals can be created on the account level of the entire study in 'Outcomes'. Moreover, groups of outcomes can be created there if you prefer this. Please be aware that setting up outcomes on account level entails that all lecturers in this account can use these objectives in their courses. It is also possible to import a large quantity of outcomes at once, or to update your existing outcomes, using a CSV-format.

  2. Then, start thinking on year-level: "What goals do we want students to have reached at the end of this academic year?"

    These goals can then be added as a lower level to the already existing study-goal.

  3. Hereafter, lecturers can choose which goals made on account-level need to be imported to their courses. 

    Please clearly indicate in the rubric the exact criteria which help lecturers to assess outcomes comparably. Clear communication and guidelines are key in implementing the learning outcomes overview successfully.


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