Not long ago, in a conversation with some rather smart people, the question of when everyone is most active on the learning management system (the LMS) came up. I gave an answer that I believed to be accurate. I was wrong.
Hourly Learning Management System Usage.
Moodle will let you access the full logs and then download them as a Microsoft Excel file. We’ve been using the learning management system since May but students have only accessed it since August of 2014. I pulled data from full usage and pulled down 957,951 records of activity through March 12, 2016. The result was an Excel file at about 70MB.
Through the use of some simple ‘countif’ statements in Excel, I retrieved the following data.
It seems quite clear that the busiest hour is 1pm -2pm, with the 3-hour window of 1-4pm as most active. From 4-8pm, usage falls. This drastic decline is completely attributed to things like athletics practice, dinner, relaxing, etc. At 8pm, an increase of usage again rises but crests in the 9pm hour (sometime between 9:00pm and 9:59pm).
In general, there are very few late night owls and even fewer early risers. Anecdotally, many of our students report getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night which may account for the strong decrease of use during the traditional night-time hours.
Some of these statistics are related to faculty/staff usage. However, that amount should be significantly outweighed by the sheer number of students versus the faculty.
Also noteworthy is the fact that 45.94% of all activity comes from on-campus. Quite clearly then, more than half comes from off-campus.
We began the benchmarking process as part of recognizing what our students were doing and ended up learning when they were doing those things. In the future, things to examine include the types of actions performed and how these usage stats change for students only and then faculty only.