What is an activity report?
An activity report lets you see what percentage of activities your students completed for selected content sections by a date/time you specify when running a report. The report is a CSV file, which instructors can use to upload scores into a gradebook in Canvas, Blackboard, etc., or to do analyses in a spreadsheet or via scripts, etc.
We created the reporting approach because we are professors ourselves and wanted a flexible approach. Compared to assignments, reports require no initial set up, no modifications to change a due date, and no special steps to grant exceptions for individual students. You announce due dates however you wish. Then, anytime after a due date, you run any reports you wish to get the data you need, as a CSV file. You can do whatever you want with that CSV file, including create new columns to sum items into one value, adjust/scale values, etc. You can upload the CSV file to your gradebook in any LMS. We recommend instructors new to zyBooks start with this simple flexible reports approach. In subsequent terms, if you wish to create assignments (which are essentially pre-defined reports), you of course can, though many instructors are happy with and stay with reporting.
A report contains the student's last name, first name, email, class section (if applicable), total overall score (weighted), total Participation Activity (PA) score, total Challenge Activity (CA) score, and total Lab Activity (LA) score if present. All those scores are weighted. Those total scores are followed by columns showing per-section scores for PAs, CAs, and LAs too.
Each section has variable points available. Ex: Section 1.1 may have 20 points and Section 1.2 may have 30 points. For PAs, each animation is one point and each question is 1 point. For CAs, each level is worth one point (or for coding CAs, passing one test case is 1 point, passing the rest is another point). The total scores are weighted based on the number of points available in each section. Ex: For the above example, a student with 10 points on 1.1 and 30 on 1.2 would have a total of (10+30) / (20 + 30) = 40/50 = 80%.
How do I download an activity report?
1. Go to the "Reporting" tab on the homepage of the zyBook you want to download a report for.
Note, if a class has a lot of students or a lot of sections, you can also type in the dropdown bar to find the results you are looking for more quickly.
2. Next, select the content sections you want to include in your report by using the checkboxes on the left. Note: The chapter checkbox will appear as a faded blue color if not all sections in a chapter are selected.
3. Next, select the "Until" date. The default is the current day. Leave the "From" date blank (usually).
4. The drop-down picker above the date allows you to choose whether to download a report for the entire class, a particular class section, or a particular student. The default is "Entire class".
5. Finally, click the orange "Download report" button, which causes your browser to download a CSV file.
Note: If you just need data for one student (perhaps if you granted an extension), in step 3, change "Entire class" to that student's name, then run the report. You'll get a report with one row.
The reporting feature includes a "From" date picker. Normal usage just leaves that field blank, which gets activity from the beginning of time (i.e., whenever the user started using the zyBook). In some cases though, instructors may want to view activity during a specific window.
Common use cases include,
- Quizzes: One such case is when using the auto-generated challenge activities for a "quiz" that occurred during a certain time window.
- Working ahead: Another is if instructors for some reason don't want students working too far ahead. Normally that's not a problem (and in fact many encourage it!), so we suggest you only use windows like this if you see a problem. If you do, notifying students in advance is important, to avoid student frustration.
- Redoing work: Another case is if an instructor wants to give credit for redoing a chapter, such as for review or extra credit.
Choosing to include time spent data will include additional columns at the end of the csv.
How do I read an activity report?
A report is a CSV file that contains columns for the students, name, email address and a few totals. If you are using class sections or student id's, those items will also appear in the report.
The key totals are "Participation total" for Participation Activities, "Challenge Total" for Challenge Activities, and possibly "Lab total" for Lab Activities (if your zyBook has zyLabs enabled). An additional column is provided, "Total", that combines the participation and challenge into one total; that column exists mostly for legacy reasons and is usually ignored.
The totals are percentages, indicating what percent the student completed. For example, if you selected all content sections in Chapter 1, the Participation Total represents what percent a student completed of all Participation Activities throughout the chapter.
Additional info in the reports
Each header has a number in parentheses, which is the number of points available for the selected sections. Above, the selected sections have 76 participation activity points and 15 challenge activity points available. Those numbers are just for information; the %s are what matter.
After the totals are columns that provide completion percents per content section. Instructors normally ignore these columns, but those columns can be useful if wanting to understand why a particular student's total is less than 100%.
The N/As above are short for "Not applicable", meaning that section had no challenge activities.
How the percents are calculated
Instructors sometimes ask how the Participation Total, Challenge Total, and Lab Total percents are calculated. We look across all selected content sections to determine the %. Above, the Participation Total shows 76 participation points available. If curious, an instructor can see from the per-section breakdown that Section 1.1 has 8 participation points available, 1.2 had 19, 1.3 has 17, 1.4 has 21, and 1.5 has 11, which sum to 76.
If a student completed 70 of those 76 points, their % would be 70/76 = 92.1%.
Likewise, 1.1 has 0 challenge points available, 1.2 has 11, 1.3 has 0, 1.4 has 4, and 1.4 has 0, totaling 15. If a student completed 14 of those points, their total % would be 14/15 = 93.3%.
Instructors normally need not pay any attention to the details of the report, simply uploading the Participation Total, Challenge Total, and Lab Total percents in their gradebooks, and ignoring everything else.