My Learning Analytics (MyLA) can be added to any Canvas course to provide students with information about their engagement with course materials, assignments, and grades in a Canvas course.
Why use MyLA?
While Canvas provides course analytics for instructors, it does not have a student-facing analytics dashboard. MyLA fills that gap without requiring that instructors make any changes to their existing pedagogy.
MyLA data visualizations are designed to support student motivation and self-regulation by giving them information to evaluate their engagement, monitor their progress, and plan their activity. Research has shown that students engage with the dashboard and find it valuable for their performance. In fact, when surveyed, over 90% of student users said they wanted the MyLA dashboard in all of their courses.
MyLA research study findings
Initially piloted in fall 2018 in three classes at U-M, MyLA has since been used in nearly 200 courses at U-M, with over 12,000 students having access to it, some of them having access in three or more courses.
- 66% of students who use MyLA report changes in: 1) how they studied, 2) their confidence that they understood the course material, and 3) the way they planned their course activity.
- Most students (71-83%) reported being happy (“slightly” to “very”) as a result of viewing MyLA, particularly when viewing the Grade Distribution.
- Many students (43%) did not report experiencing increased anxiety as a result of viewing MyLA. Of those that did, most reported “slight” or “somewhat increased” anxiety. These ratings were consistent for the three MyLA views.
- Less than 5% of the dashboard users reported that any of the three views were difficult to use or complex to understand.
- 87% of student users accessed the Grade Distribution view, followed by the Resources Accessed, and Assignment Planning views.
- 92% of student users said they would like the dashboard to be available in all of their courses.
Setting up MyLA in a Canvas Course
For the best student experience with MyLA, there are a few things to keep in mind when setting up your Canvas course.
- Use clear and concise names for files in your course so that students easily recognize the file name in the visualization.
- Assignments must be published in Canvas to display in the Assignment Planning visualization.
- Assignments should have names, points, due dates, and weights (if using) set up.
- Assignment group rules should be set up, e.g., drop the lowest score in the group.
- Assignments details do not need to be available or released to students until you are ready.
- Courses with 10 or fewer students may wish to preview the Grade Distribution before enabling it for students. While the visualization has been designed to address student privacy by binning low outlier grades, instructors may want to consider potential risk to student grade privacy in small courses.
Tell students about MyLA
In research on MyLA use, the primary reason reported for non-use was that students didn’t know MyLA was available or forgot that it was available (90%). To encourage student engagement with MyLA, we recommend sending out an initial announcement at the beginning of the semester to let students know that MyLA is available, as well as posting at least one additional announcement later as a reminder. You may also want to include information about MyLA on your syllabus. We've provided text for announcements and syllabus, including a link to the MyLA video demo, that can be found here: My Learning Analytics (MyLA) Syllabus & Announcements Template Text
How to add MyLA to a Canvas Course
MyLA is set up in Canvas as an LTI integration, which means it is available for any Canvas course.
Follow the steps below to add MyLA to your Canvas course:
- Go to the Settings page in your Canvas course
- Click on the Navigation tab
- MyLA is defaulted to be hidden from students. Drag My Learning Analytics up to the navigation items list at the top of the page or click on the three dots and select enable.
- Click Save
- Click on the My Learning Analytics tab in the left side navigation. This initiates loading the data for your class into MyLA. MyLA data is updated every 24 hours, so the views with your course data will be available the next day.
- MyLA has been added to the course! After the data is loaded, you can review and enable or disable any of the views for students.
MyLA data is updated every 24 hours, so the views with your course data will be available after the next update.
Enabling/disabling views for students
Once MyLA has been added to your course, you can enable or disable any of the views at any time. A view must be enabled for students to see the visualization. Instructors can see the disabled views, but students cannot.
How to enable/disable the views:
- Click on My Learning Analytics in your Canvas course
- Click on the checkbox to check (enable) or uncheck (disable) a view
MyLA Data Used for Research
The MyLA project continues to support research into student use of learning analytics. At the end of fall term, a survey will be sent out to students in courses using MyLA to gather feedback on their experience with the tool. To read more about this research and the data involved, go to My Learning Analytics Research & Data.