With the April 2022 release you will find a new Brightspace Data Set (BDS) within Data Hub named Course Access Log and you might be wondering – why do we now have 2 BDSs for course access? In this blog post I will describe each of these data sets so that you can understand the differences. The vision for course access data is to capture and provide data from all the places course access can occur with the total number of accesses per day opposed to aggregating at the day.
Course Access BDS
The Course Access BDS has been available since 2018 and tracks all users accessing all courses through Brightspace (via the browser). In this data set, course access is tracked once per day. If a user accesses a course multiple times within a single day, you will only find 1 record within this data set. This can be observed in the DayAccessed field (see ERD diagram below), which arbitrarily logs all accesses at the same time of day. One of the gaps of this data set is that if a user accesses a course via one of our apps, it is not represented in this data set.
Course Access Log BDS
The Course Access Log BDS will be available with the April 2022 release. This data set is intended to begin to evolve course access data availability by surfacing data when users access a course via Pulse. Currently Course Access Log only reports on course access via Pulse. Within this data set we can log multiple course access events per day. For example, if a user accessed a course in the morning and again in the evening, you would find two records for the same day with different times in the Timestamp column.
We have also included a Source column in Course Access Log (see ERD diagram below). Currently the only source is Pulse, however, in the future we plan to include data from other sources as well to provide a comprehensive view of course access.
Figure: ERD Diagram for Course Access and Course Access Log.
Here is a summary of the differences between the Course Access BDS and the Course Access Log BDS: Course Access BDSCourse Access Log BDSSource of DataBrightspace (via browser)PulseFrequencyRecords once per dayMultiple times per day, new access counted following >= 30 mins inactivityHistorical Data3 years (all of the previous two calendar years and the current calendar year to date)Begins February 2021, up to 150 Million recordsDate InformationDayAccessed field - this field only provides the day (the time portion is arbitrarily set to midnight)Timestamp field - this is a proper timestamp field recording the day and time the user accessed the course in UTCSource ColumnNoYes - currently all the data is from Pulse but in the future we hope to include data from other sources as well Table 1: Summary of differences between Course Access and Course Access Log BDSs
How to analyze both data sets together
Are you interesting in seeing how you might analyze both of these data sets together? You are in luck – check out this blog post describing how you can do that within Insights Report Builder.
I hope you found this blog post comparing these similar but complementary data sets helpful! Join our Analytics and Data Access Group in Brightspace Community for more resources and the latest updates!