How do I see my students' browsing activity? Follow
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Hāpara Highlights gives you visibility into what students are doing in their Google Chrome browser so you can provide necessary instructional supports.
Highlights has three ways to view students’ current online browsing so you can see the information that best supports your instruction.
Customizing your view in Highlights
There are several ways to customize what you see in Highlights in order to best support your instruction.
Drag and drop
In the Browser Tabs and Current Screens view, you see students’ browsing information displayed in individual tiles for each student. You can arrange these Student Tiles in a custom order by dragging and dropping them to different spots on the screen.
Highlights will remember this order when you leave and come back. This can be a helpful way to arrange Student Tiles when you have students learning in person and you want your Highlights view to reflect your seating chart.
In the Highlights toolbar there are some additional tools that can help you arrange Student Tiles in the way that makes the most sense for you.
If you have set up class groups, the Groups dropdown allows you to filter your view in Highlights to focus on one group of students at a time. This can be a helpful way to clean up your view when you’re doing a station rotation model and only some students are working online at a time.
The Sort dropdown gives you several options for arranging your Student Tiles, including showing online or offline students first, or alphabetically.
If you have several absent students, showing online students first is a good way to drop these inactive tiles to the bottom of your screen so you can focus on the students who are present.
In the Browser Tabs and Current Screens views, you can change the size of the Student Tiles to make them bigger or smaller. If you have a large class, the compact view will allow you to see more Student Tiles at a time so you don't have to scroll to see your whole class.
Using Browser Tabs
Browser Tabs is the default view when you click on Highlights. This view is helpful for seeing everything a student has going on in their browser. It shows individual Student Tiles for each student in your class.
With Browser Tabs, you’ll be able to give consistent formative feedback, help redirect students or clear up any misconceptions.
Each Student Tile shows a list of the tabs the student has open on their device. The bolded item is the tab they are actively looking at. You can scroll within the tile to see all of the tabs a student has open.
If you’re unfamiliar with a website shown in the Student Tile, you can click on the website name to go to that page. This is always a best practice so that you understand why a student was visiting the site.
Note: If the student is logged into a site, you may not be able to see exactly what they see without their login credentials.
Closing a student's tab
If a student is on a website that they shouldn’t be using during class time, you can close it to help them stay on their learning path.
To close a student’s browser tab:
1. Click the X next to that website name.
2. Next, provide a reason for closing their tab.
This feature provides students with more context as to why their tab is being closed. Data shows that providing a reason for closing a tab reduces the likelihood that students will repeat the off-task behavior. The goal is to help students make positive decisions online and become responsible digital citizens.
3. Afterward, the reason will appear on the student’s screen.
Learn more about closing tabs in our article How to close websites for students.
Using Current Screens
Current Screens displays screenshots of what students are actively looking at online. You can quickly see what each student is currently viewing and then send positive formative feedback or help students who need guidance.
Similar to Browser Tabs, in Current Screens there is a Student Tile for each student in your class. In the Student Tile, you will see a screenshot of what the student currently has open in their Chrome browser.
You can also close the student’s tab, if needed. Follow the steps above for closing a browser tab.
Additionally, you can open a larger view of the screenshot to see more details.
1. Click on a screenshot to open the larger view.
2. Then click on the website name. On your own device, this will open the website the student is viewing.
3. If you need to document or follow up on the student’s browsing activity, you can take a Snap. This records the student's activity on that site.
To protect students' privacy while they are using webcams, Current Screens cannot display a screenshot of students' screens when they are on meet.google.com or hangouts.google.com. When students are on either of these sites, you will see a message like the one below in the Student Tile.
This message only displays while students have Meet or Hangouts in their active tab. If they move to another tab or website, the screenshot will update. For more information on this, please read our Google Hangouts/Meet FAQ.
Note - How frequently Current Screens updates depends on a combination of factors including your internet connection and how your Hāpara administrator has set up Highlights.
Using the Activity Viewer
The Activity Viewer shows a near-real-time summary of the browsing activity for all of the students in your class. It’s a great way to understand what your class is doing as a whole in order to make the most use of class time and help students who need extra support.
The Activity Viewer has 3 sections:
- Class Activity lists all sites that students currently have open in their browsers.
- Unique Activity lists all websites and documents that exactly one student has open.
- Collaboration lists all websites and documents that two or more students have open at the same time.
The Class Activity section lists all sites that students currently have open. It gives you an overall view of which sites your students have accessed while you have had Highlights open.
- If all students are browsing the same individual site, this section will show one entry.
- In the above image, the students are browsing eight sites.
- If a student starts browsing a new site (e.g. www.nytimes.com), it will be added to the bottom of the list.
This section uses colored bars to show how many students are active:
- Blue Currently bar: shows the students who are currently viewing the site. The actual number of students is shown to the left of the bar.
- Orange Previously bar: shows which students viewed the site recently but have since stopped viewing it. For example, they closed a browser tab.
- Gray Never bar: shows the students who are not currently viewing and have not recently viewed the site.
To view the student activity in more detail:
1. Click anywhere on the colored bars to display the names of the students within each section.
2. Then click it once more to close the expanded view.
3. To take a Snap, click on the camera icon at the end of the colored bar.
Collaboration shows all websites and documents that two or more students currently have open. This is a great way to see if students are working together in documents or finding similar results in their research.
- If two students both browse to the same new page, the new page is added to the bottom of the list.
- If two students start to work on a new document together, the new document is added to the bottom of the list.
- If two students were working on a document together, and then one of them leaves the document, the document is removed from this list (as there is only one student left editing it and that is not collaboration!)
This section also uses colored bars to show how many students are active (in the same way that the Class Activity section does). Follow the same steps to display the student names.
Unique Activity shows all websites and documents that exactly one student currently has open.
This section helps you see students who are "exploring" or working on a document by themselves or who may be stuck and need help. You can see:
- Who is doing the exploring
- Which website or document they are exploring
- How long ago they first opened the website or document.
If a student closes the "unique" document or tab in their browser, the corresponding line in this section will automatically disappear within seconds.
If you see a unique activity that is not appropriate or is off-task, you can close the site for the student. Follow the steps mentioned previously to close the student’s browser tab.
Highlights refresh rate
The default Highlights setting is set to refresh student information every 2.5 seconds.
Your school technology administrator may change this to reduce network bandwidth usage. If the current refresh rate does not meet your expectations, please consult your technology administrator to learn whether they changed the refresh rate or if your school network is busy.