It is important to keep in mind that the course visit time and time online for course elements are best thought of as a 'helpful indicator of time spent on itslearning'.
They do not measure exact time down to the second - e.g. key press to key press. We track access every few minutes. The reports cannot record time spent outside itslearning, for example, if the student opens Office365 or their Google account to work on a course assignment. Students may, however, open course documents and then leave the computer for a short period (such as to grab a drink) and this is still counted towards online time.
While not accurate down to the second, this measurement is a very powerful measure to show where students are investing their time:
- It can show the comparative time students spend online within itslearning on activities/resources.
- It can show where students are struggling, for example, spending too long on a task/resource. Teachers may want to review the activity/resource to make sure it is well defined and meets the aims of the course.
- It can show where students are skipping information, for example, not spending enough time on a task/resource in the task. Teachers may want to review the activity/resource to make sure it is well defined and meets the aims of the course.
- It can give tutors/teachers an indication of the time being spent on the activity/resources. It is much better than a simple 'Accessed Yes or No' indicator.
For example: A teacher uploads a 10-minute video in their course and asks students to review. The progress report can show if students ignored the video, who watched it for only a few minutes and who spent about the full time or even longer watching the video.