Blackpool and The Fylde College's Canvas EASL (Educational Analytics for Student Lifecycle)


A demonstration showcasing how Blackpool & The Fylde College is leveraging Canvas Data to ensure adoption and engagement. EASL is our in-house set of Power BI Dashboards enabling both reactive and predictive analysis of students engagement and attainment.

For students the dashboards bring together information from multiple sources throughout the college, providing:

  • Easy access to all assignments across multiple courses on one page;
  • All their feedback is available within 2 clicks; attendance data; timetables and much more.

All of these are quickly available within Canvas through bespoke course templates for level of study and curriculum area.

Our data dashboards also give staff an in-depth analysis of: - The status of their courses; - Assignments tracking; - Monitoring feedback; - Student engagement and behaviour all in one place.

Video Transcript
(upbeat music) - Hello, and welcome to Blackpool and The Fylde College's Canvas EASL presentation, that's Educational Analytics for Student Lifecycle and a bit of a pun there. I'm Stephen Taylor, and this is my manager, Kerry Steeden. So who are we and where are on earth Blackpool and Fylde College? Well, Kerry is the digital learning resource center manager for the college and I am the lead learning technologist. So there's a little bit of information about us up on the screen there for you. As for Blackpool and Fylde College, we have variety of campuses around the Fylde coast which is in the Northwest of England. We got around about and a thousand members of staff.

And we've used Canvas since may of 2019. So we're gonna talk a little bit now about our Canvas usage since we got it. I'm gonna pass over to Kerry to talk about that. - Thank you, Steven. So as you can see, this is our initial layout.

This is what we started with in 2019. Now, initially we adopted this with one of our curriculum areas, which was Blackpool School Of Arts. As they adopted, they trailed things out for us but one thing that we identified that it was a bit overly complicated in terms of the links in that table layout. As you can see, the icons on this screen were also links along with the link text underneath. So if there was any change in informational pages they would have to amend both.

So we found that it was a little overly complicated for the lecturers and a bit confusing as well in some cases. So moving on, in 2020, we replicated this with blueprints. And what we found was the accessibility issues as well was not on where we should have been. So as you can see, there are more links but it was very overly prescriptive. And we wanted to adopt something a little bit more user friendly.

So moving over to 2022, these are new navigation layouts, of course, landing pages and then modules within those courses. As you can see, it is a very user friendly in terms of navigation, but also the linking is a lot simpler. The lecturers were heavily involved in this process and we ensured that a lot of the feedback was implemented within this. Now, what they asked for was the navigation to be smoother. They also asked for the student engagement to improve with this as well.

And then assignments were also embedded within that, especially with the naming conventions. So it was bland and it was very time consuming. But with these new blueprints, they were a lot easier to implement and adapt to their needs. - And obviously with bringing in these extra blueprints, we have a need to track the usage that we have within Canvas. So originally we created for quality and standards a Canvas course analysis was for us to be able to have a look at every course on Canvas using the data coming down to the data portal to find out, you know, are they using the blueprints? Have they updated the blueprints? Have they set up summer term assignments, the way that we wanted to? It's now used to aid heads of department, course managers, program leaders, and just staff in general, for them to keep a quick eye on the things there.

So these reports, we get the data coming out of the Canvas data warehouse, data portal. We put it into our own data warehouse and then we're using Power BI to visualize that data for us on there. We've even been able to make a clickable link on each of the CIS IDs that take you directly to that course. So just speeds everything up for everyone involved. After we got that tracking going on of how people were using Canvas, we started extending what we used that data for.

So we use our Canvas for mandatory training. So we needed to report on that. We wanted to see what students were doing on Canvas and are they engaging with it? Are they engaging with their courses? We're building a heads and managers dashboard that has all of their key information from all of our systems, all in one place. We've got assignment tracking, because as you know, within Canvas, you have to go into the actual course to see what's going on with assignments. With these data dashboards, we can actually see a full picture of an entire subaccount, an entire course, the entire college, if we wanted to, all in one place.

Same for feedback, so rather than having to go into each individual students we're able to actually bring the feedback into one place to be looked at really quickly and easily. We track our tutorials that we do. We even do some library tracking and some digital and LRC support tracking as well. So here's our staff training group. One of our staff training reports, one of the very first ones that we did where we gamified it.

Now obviously I've removed names in order to maintain privacy on here, but we have the top three scores on our staff training reports. And you can see we've got the numbers of how people are doing, what levels people have reached. And we've got our gold, silver and bronze awards and we shared that weekly to staff. And it really got them involved and excited about taking part in these training sessions. Here's one of our student engagement reports.

Now this was taken, this screenshot was taken mid August, so we didn't have any students in hence the log ons being so low on that one. But we can see we're tracking log ons across the department. And we're able to see who are using Canvas and who aren't using Canvas. Now, not all of our students will be using Canvas. We have apprentices who won't necessarily be using it.

They use other systems. But this allows us to see where we've got any issues arising and be able to troubleshoot them quite quickly. This is the assignment tracking I was talking about before, we've even been able to get a calendar so you can see assignments due and we can hover over different bits to find out how many assignments are due on that day. And we can drill down and see all sorts of different information on there that is massively useful, particularly for program leaders, course managers, and heads of departments to keep on top of what their students are doing or not doing on there. And even what their tutors are doing with setting assignments up.

The pending button published assignments is really useful because if you've got an assignment that's due, that you're expecting students to do, and the tutors forgotten to hit publish, you need to be able to highlight that very quickly. And that's what that button allows us to do there and see that. We've also combined Canvas data with data from other systems. So on here, we've got My PC data, which is what we use for managing our computers. And you can actually see, I've managed to link in curriculum areas and departments.

All that information is coming directly out of Canvas for us. We're using that as our basis for it to find out who the students are and what they're involved with. I'm actually able to see on this primary support count here, there's other things in there as well as the PCU usage, we've got things like, have they been accessing our resources? Have they been resetting their passwords? All things like that going through it. Again, using Canvas as the basis for identifying who those students are, and what department they're within. Bit more information on here.

Again, we've got our book interactions so we can see who's reading books, what books they're reading, again, using that Canvas data as the baseline for it. And then we've got some impact assessment of the support that we're doing. So we can see the top five books, or, yeah just the top five books that are used. Some of them are drawn, so you get multiple in there. But it's also showing the statistical impact on Canvas assignments of actually seeing us.

So the various different things that we've got, taking books out, seeing LRC staff for support and seeing the digital team for support. On the right hand side, we've got, what is their average score out of a hundred percent on every single assignment that they do on Canvas? And then on the left side, we've got for those who've seen us, who've seen those different things, what is their average score out of every single assignment that they do on Canvas? So obviously it can be skewed a little bit, depending on if people have put in more points than they should have done for an assignment grade or something like that. But it does give you a very good picture of how we're actually impacting on students at Blackpool and Fylde College. So what about the future? Well we've got quite a few exciting things lined up in the future. We're building those heads and managers dashboards.

We're building timetables, we're building potential predictive analytics coming forward. So we can see, we can start to predict what's going to happen with students. Are people going to withdraw? What are the warning signs that we need to find for that? So the EASL is just going to continue growing and growing and growing. Using the Canvas data portal as its baseline for that. And we cannot wait for Canvas Data 2.

So then we can actually start having more in-depth information coming out of it. So are there any questions, things, obviously this isn't live, this is a recorded session. So if you can think of any questions that you have after the session, you can find us on Twitter. Kerry is @KerrySteeden, and I am @SteTaylorGFA. And we're always open to answering any questions you might have.

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