Why Use MyLA?
Self-regulated learning is an individual, lifelong learning cycle of 1) goal-setting/task-planning, 2) action/monitoring, and 3) evaluating/reflecting. While it may be individual, learning is more successful when you use strategic resources (including others) to help. It is important that you take an active, intentional path in your learning for any course (or life!). Students using MyLA have reported changes in their study habits, time management, and course assignment planning (see the testimonials at the top of the page). Specifically, MyLA offers the following insight tools:
- Resources Accessed: Compare resources most accessed by others (you can even filter to a specific grade range such as the resources most accessed by the top 10% of students) to the resources you've accessed, to help identify important files and videos you may have missed.
- Assignment Planning: Use the progress bar to see upcoming assignments, their weight, and whether you're meeting learning goals.
- Grade Distribution: View grade distributions and grade averages to know where you stand in courses using a curve policy.
There are also options within eLearning Canvas to also assist with your post-assessment reflections and future planning. On the Grades page, you can click the Show All Details button on the right to view scoring details such as the mean and high/low scores for each assessment (whereas MyLA only shows the course grade) as well as rubrics and feedback. Alternatively, you can view these details by clicking the associated icon on each individual assignment row. Lastly, you can enter a What-If score into the Score cell for any assignment to calculate the impact on your grade. However, the MyLA version (in Assignment Planning) has more advanced capabilities, such as filters and applying a minimum score percentage to all assessments before making individual adjustments according to personal goals and expectations.
How to Access MyLA
Please ask your instructor if you do not see My Learning Analytics in your Canvas course navigation and are interested in trying it. However, not all course designs will be ideal for use with MyLA so they may elect not to enable one or all visualizations. In these situations, your instructor can still help guide you in the best methods for improving your learning outcomes in their course, so we encourage you to reach out.
How to Use MyLA
Please see the resources provided by the University of Michigan for specific instructions on each visualization:
Only you can see your visualizations so, if you need help with translating the data into personalized actionable steps, you will need to share your screen or take a picture to share with your instructor, advisor, tutor, or other specialist.
Technical Tips for Using MyLA
- Access MyLA in a desktop browser (Chrome or Firefox is recommended) by way of the Canvas course navigation menu. University of Michigan documentation may show other access points, but the Navigation is the only method available for instructors to enable at UF.
- There is a 24-hour delay in the data shown, so not all Canvas activity will be displayed in the visualizations. You can look at the timestamp on the display to help you interpret the data.
- The Resources Accessed visualization shows which resources you've accessed (blue) and which you haven't (gray). The default view shows you every Canvas course file that was accessed by a student for this week and last week. You can use the slider ends to change that time range and the drop-down filter to adjust the view by student ranking in the course (there’s also a Remember my Setting feature!). If you haven't looked at a resource, you can click on the file name to download it directly, in accordance with the current course files permission settings.
- The Assignment Planning visualization has a separate scroll bar for the Assignment List section. You may need to scroll down on the page to see the horizontal scroll bar allowing full access to the left and right columns. If there are Unpublished assignments in a course, it will not display in MyLA. Therefore, be sure to reference the syllabus and other instructor communications for a complete picture of course activity and grade requirements.
- The Grade Distribution visualization shows the average and median grades and the distribution. Most people are familiar with an “average” score (or mean), but the median provides better insight into student performance when there are outliers (very high or very low scores) or a skewed distribution that does not represent a perfectly symmetrical bell curve.
Action Tips for Achieving Learning Goals
These visualizations are intended to help you improve your performance in the course by revealing resources you may have missed, highlighting important assignments for you to prioritize your time, and showing if your performance is below most others, so you can reach out for additional assistance. It is often more about how you are spending your time studying, than the amount of time, so discussing your methods with an expert can often make a big difference. However, this information can also cause anxious feelings for some people (this has been reported most often with the Grade Distribution visualization). Try to focus on actionable takeaways you can glean from the data so it doesn’t become an overburdening source of stress. If you feel your mental health is suffering, you should discontinue checking MyLA and, potentially, seek consultation services from the UF Counseling and Wellness Center.
- Writing assignments/Time Management: If you have a big writing assignment but are struggling to break it down into manageable components, we suggest using the libraries’ assignment calculator to create a personalized 12-step timetable. Using a planner to schedule time for yourself to complete components is an important element to success (develop rewards to treat yourself for sticking to your plan too!). You can even connect your Canvas e-Learning calendar to your phone/desktop calendar so it’s all in one place. You can also seek FREE assistance from the Writing Studio.
- Study Strategies: Spend your time in the right way, there are specific strategies to improve learning and memory retention. Understanding how brains learn and then employing self-regulated learning techniques (throughout the phases of goal-setting/planning, action/monitoring, and evaluating/reflecting) can make a big impact. “The Learning Scientists” offer Six Strategies for Effective Learning and the University of Arizona has created a great resource called the Learning to Learn series.
- Exams: There are a few different elements that may be related to improving your testing performance:
- Preparation - Time management, study techniques, and help-seeking are covered in the other tips here but physical well-being is also important for brain function. This means habitually getting enough sleep (improved scores take at least 5 days of 8+ hrs and if you can’t do that, try adding a 10-20 min nap; also see the sleep hygiene guidelines for collegiate athletes) and proper nutrition, including eating breakfast (if you are food insecure, please visit the Hitchcock Field and Fork pantry).
- Mindset & combating test anxiety - How you perceive and react to challenges during the learning process can impact your persistence and performance. Framing obstacles as opportunities to improve, and your belief that with hard work you can improve, is considered a “growth mindset.” Your mindset is a factor for learning and how you frame your situation can even help combat test anxiety. See the CWC video for more information.
- Test-taking strategies and tips - The University of Northern Colorado created a helpful document with test-taking strategies, including a section for different types of test questions. If the exam is in Canvas e-Learning, you will want to use a desktop browser (not the App or a mobile browser) and an ethernet connection (not wireless, if possible). The sidebar shows unanswered questions if you need to return to them at the end (assuming this feature is enabled by the instructor). If you encounter any technical difficulties, take a screenshot and call the UF Computing Help Desk at 352-392-4357 for assistance. Also, be sure to review details ahead of time such as the exam window (e.g., If you have 50 min. time limit and it is only available until 11:59pm, you would need to begin by 11:09pm to ensure you received the full 50 minutes), the number of attempts allowed, and if a proctoring tool (e.g., Honorlock, Respondus) will need to be installed and used.
- Post-assessment reflection & future planning - Reflecting on past actions is great preparation for improving your future performance. Try using these prompts to analyze your exam and plan what you need to do next to improve.
- Free Tutoring and Academic Coaching: Beyond reaching out directly to your instructor/TA (such as through office hours which are specifically designed for the expectation of additional assistance needs), there are multiple tutoring options available as well as coaching, advising, and mentoring services. Everyone needs help. Don’t let fears or assumptions cause you to miss out on the free resource that can help you succeed. See the Student Success website or the CLAS Academic Advising Center (which offers services to all UF students) for more information.