I'm looking for a way to easily see the total amount of time a student has used studying in the course.
There are options to see logs, like for example "All logs", but this shows each seperate log and I need a total.
Do you know if theer is a way to see this per student?
I will be the first person to give you the somewhat standard response. No.
This is not a fault with Moodle, it is just that computers are unable to track "time spent." For example, if you are reading this post, then leave your computer to take care of other business, then come back and click on the next post, how much time have you spend in this forum? How do you expect the computer to know that you stepped away?
Well, having said this, you might find some ways to attempt to deduce the amount of time. Moodle tracks "clicks." It will be up to you to figure out what the student was really doing between clicks. Good luck.
Might you be able to explain how you or your school sees how much time a student is studying for courses (meaning without any computers being used), either inside or outside of the classroom? For example, if a student is in the classroom, but attends to a text message on their phone, is this counted as "study time?"
I am just providing thoughts and trying to help you understand why moodle doesn't report bogus data.
The other standard answer is have a quiz or other evaluation in your course to measure student's learning.
However, I also know from many similar threads that this is quite a common requirement from 'people in suits' who provide the funding for courses. You are as well to make it up in some sense for the all the difference it makes.
Yep Howard, I forgot to mention this important part of education, that we are really interested in what students "learn," and that learning is more important than "time."
Last semester some of my students asked about "time on Exam1." When I looked at the data for this 2-hour timed exam, and did a regression analysis, there was no correlation between the elapsed exam times and students scores. In two different cases, the linear regressed line was slightly negative! How's that for these people who think "time" is important. So students who spend more time on their exams do not necessarily do better.
Wouldn't it be great if we could all learning new things in less time?
Canvas is one LMS that tries to show me "Student Activity Time." Can you believe that one student in my first week of class spent 63 hours staring at a syllabus! The syllabus is the only thing that I posted in that LMS course. Well, that's what is reported. How's that for deduced "activity time?"
I think the majority of us understand what you're saying here and agree that its bogus reporting but like one of the other respondents wrote "people in suits" who expect it... which is what it boils down to for everyone asking it. 99% of the time the people asking for this are just trying to follow protocol of the suits and the suits are the ones who can't get that its complete bs reporting. There are a lot of regulators out there that truly don't get it and demand the courses they approve to provide it. I fully agree with you, RIck, it's just the regulators don't agree and that's a shame.
Thank you Billy Zwiener, I am looking for a practical solution to a question. I am not looking to start a discussion about the do's and dont's in didactics.
I understand. But if the regulators think that 3+4 equals 10, then it is up to someone to educate them. If even after education they still think 3+4 equals 10, well, I can't help. However, if they want to pay me a million dollars to make 3+4 = 10, then I guess I can write a program to do this. What I mean is that if you really want Moodle to give you "activity time" then just write your own program.
What I find, however, is that some schools would rather have the LMS company write these bogus programs so that no one at the school becomes responsible for the results. It is easier to say "Moodle says William spent 150 hours in this course" instead of "My program that I wrote says William spent 150 hours in this course."
Up to this point in time, it has appeared to me that Moodle prefers to say "we don't calculate bogus numbers."
So the practical approach is either to educate the regulators, write your own program to generate bogus numbers that regulators like, or hire an outside person to write this program.
What if I want to know time spent, not for a regulator, but to know if my class takes to much time? Would a tool of some kind not be helpful to me to know that the reading I assigned, which I thought should only take 15 minutes, took my students 2 hours? I agree with your points on the limitations on activity tracking, but I think there is value to dedicated teachers in having estimates of the time students spend in a course.
For those landing here searching for a solution, the Course dedication block is helpful, but only provides the total time in the course. The Timestat plugin looks promising, but hasn't been updated since 2015, so I've not tried it. I tried the Use Stats block, but it has issues with subcourses, which I use extensively.
If anyone has something better than those options, please let me know.
I think you maybe miss the point.
It's not that it wouldn't be worthwhile having this information. Unfortunately, the question makes no sense in an online environment. It possibly makes no sense in a real classroom either. How do you know if a student is engaging or just daydreaming? You don't.
Whereas, asking how long it takes to get from zero to being able to pass a test in the subject probably does make some sense.
You might have a point if your course happened to be a "speed reading" course, but that's about it. If the course does happen to be a Speed Reading course, you could build the reading into a quiz, follow it with assessment questions, and use the "timed" quiz feature to limit the quiz to (let's say) 30 minutes.
Might you be saying that you believe that the student who took 15 minutes to read a story and gets a "B" on the assessment is somehow better than the student who took 2 hours to read a story and gets an "A?" Or are you saying that if the story causes the one reader to stop, reflect, and think about each sentence, that you don't want to encourage this? Or are you saying that the one student, who already knows something about a topic and can scan the reading and do well on the assessment is somehow better than the student who might not be familiar with the topic and takes longer? I ask these questions to better understand what you are trying to identify and why. I can't say that I have seen course (or learning) objectives ever stated as "The student will be able to xxx and yyy, in 20 seconds." Well, just my thoughts.
Let me explain a bit more. I am a training director at a company and am producing trainings for sales, service, and users. Especially for the sales and service trainings, I have to convince our distributor network to have their employees complete these trainings. To help encourage them, it would be helpful to be able to include an estimate of how long the course takes to complete. I was hoping to be able to use the experience of the first few participants to complete the course to be able to provide an estimate of time required to complete the course. Of course, the time required will depend on the experience of the participant, and I have nothing against someone just taking the quizzes and finishing a course in 15 minutes while someone else has to do all the readings etc. and takes 2 hours. But these salespeople and service technicians already have so many demands on their time, that if I tell them a training will only take 1.5 hours and they spend 4 hours, then they are less likely to do further trainings.
So one of my constraints in designing these courses is keeping an eye on how much time it takes. The complete time in course from the Course dedication block is helpful, but if the course is taking longer than I imagined, it would also be good to know which activities are drawing that out. That would be a signal that that particular content is less familiar and might possible require additional background training.
That is what I currently want to measure, as difficult as that may be. But even as a professor at the university (my last job), I tried to be conscious of how much time my students were spending per week on my class so as to not overburden them. If it is a two credit class and the students are spending 20 hours a week on it, then I am doing something wrong. Would some kind of activity tracking not be helpful, or am I stuck just asking students how much time they spend, which is equally fraught with inaccuracies?
Personally, I would just ask them.
I don't think you're going to measure anything useful.
Okay Aaron, I do understand where you are coming from.
Well, you are the designer and probably the fastest at taking your own course. How long would it take you to take your course? This is probably the minimum. Then, ask someone else to take your course. Maybe a colleague, maybe someone who represents your common "student," maybe your 8-year-old child. These values now establish a range. Then, you say "This course can be completed in xx hours."
When I design my university courses, I let the course objectives establish the learning activities. I don't pay attention to time. I let my experience also guide me. For example, in my Operations Management course, I think students should be able to read a chapter a week. But I wouldn't give them 10 books each week to read on a topic.
Oh, I should mention that your estimate for what a 2-credit-hour course should take. The U.S. Government has already established the guidelines. I cannot recall the exact amount, but it's approximately 40-hours per credit hour. These guidelines were established when the U.S. Government discovered that some universities were cheating on government scholarships, etc.. (A school would get maybe $500 from the government for a student's 3-credit-hour semester course, but the course was fluff, involving very few lectures and assignments.)
Another, oh... yep, schools trying to prove these 120 hours for a 3-credit-hour course didn't know how to measure, so some resort to asking students. What do you really expect a student to say? They don't keep track of time either? It depends on the incentives. If the school gives an "A" incentive for "speed" (as a simple example) then the student says "10 hours." If they give an "A" to the student who spends the most time, then the student says "400 hours."
It still seems to get down to "assessment." What did the student learn? This is the best measure.
Well, this causes me to end up supporting Howard's reply.
I should mention, we are not arguing with you. We are simply trying to share our perspectives about the realities of not being able to measure "learning time" and that it is an often misconceived idea.
There is already the time you spend on an activity. If you click on any activity, then go on report:
sure but I think the author of the post asked for this and nobody suggested it
Well, no he didn't. He asked for the time spent in a course.
You noted the metric for a SCORM activity. Which isn't the same thing at all.
Unless, of course, you do nothing but run SCORM courses
look at enrolled users