Best Practices for Using the LearnPlatform Inventory Dashboard
The Inventory Dashboard enables organizations to discover the breadth of edtech solutions their students and teachers access and begin building a stronger evidence-based ecosystem. It provides high-level, directional data intended to help administrators ask informed questions and identify where they need to dig deeper in regards to their edtech.
Understanding Inventory Dashboard Data
What it is intended for
What it isn’t intended for
Understand the breadth of solutions being accessed by students and teachers
Source of rapid-cycle evaluation (RCE) data
Identify where to dig deeper on individual solutions use and inform critical questions to ask of provider data
Definitive source of edtech solution usage data at the individual student level
Identify educators who are power users of specific solutions
Sole source of data to understand implementation fidelity and efficacy
Identify unknown/unvetted solutions being accessed
Teacher and student edtech use surveillance
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my Inventory Dashboard data not match what I’m seeing in product dashboards?
There are a number of reasons why we don’t expect Inventory Dashboard data to exactly match data you may be seeing in reporting/dashboards native to specific solutions or through your single sign-on (SSO) provider. Access data provided through the Inventory Dashboard is URL-driven, so if a solution is being accessed via an LMS (including LTI) or API via another solution, the URL event may not be picked up. If a student or teacher accesses a solution from a personal device without the LearnPlatform extension installed that activity will also not be tracked. Additionally, application behavior (i.e. when a Google Doc autosaves) may be picked up as an event by the Inventory Dashboard
What tool access data will not be picked up by the Inventory Dashboard?
Any solution accessed via an iframe in another tool will not be tracked on the Inventory Dashboard because iframe activity is not URL based. Activity that happens in browsers without the Chrome or iOS extension installed also will not be tracked. Additionally, for the chrome extension, a user must be signed into their chrome browser with the same email domain that was provided to LearnPlatform.
Why isn’t Inventory Dashboard data used for RCEs?
The Inventory Dashboard was built to provide user and access data at a very broad level. Rapid Cycle Evaluation (RCE) on the other hand, is intended to provide administrators with a deep dive into how a specific solution is being used and the outcomes it is driving. Usage and outcome data obtained directly from solution providers will be more accurate than Inventory Dashboard data, so it is a better fit for use in RCE.
What’s the difference between the Chrome and iOS browser extensions?
The Chrome browser extension can be deployed via a Google Admin account to Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers. It can capture users, events (pageviews, page refreshes, etc.) and time-on-system (minutes). It cannot capture access and usage data on apps launched within another app (i.e., if a teacher/student is logged in to Canvas, and launches Flipgrid via Canvas, Flipgrid use will be captured as Canvas use). The browser extension can be utilized on Windows OR macOS devices on which Chrome or Edge browsers are being used. It will not capture access/use data for native apps on macOS devices. The chrome extension only collects data from the active window, so tabs open in the background will not be captured.
The iOS extension can be deployed via any MDM (Jamf and others) and installed on any MDM managed iOS device. It cannot be used to capture data on macOS devices. It uses WebContentFilter on supervised educational iOS devices to measure student and educator engagement with EdTech products, including native apps and web apps. It can capture device and event data on shared devices, and device, event and user data in 1:1 implementations. The iOS extension can capture usage data on apps launched within another app, provided there is parity with the non-natively launched app’s standard url. Additionally, the iOS extension cannot differentiate between active and inactive tabs open in web browsers. It also cannot differentiate between native apps that are open vs those open in the background. The iOS extension can only capture data from apps that send a signal to a network.
What About Tools Launched via the Instructure Canvas LMS?
Visibility to access data on tools launched via Canvas LMS depends on the integration of the specific tool with the Canvas platform. Reach out to Support or your Customer Success Manager for questions about specific tools being used via Canvas.
As a new member of the Instructure family of products–which also includes Canvas–we are actively exploring ways to improve the integration of LearnPlatform with Canvas for improved data quality.
What if I’m not seeing a tool I know we access show up on the Inventory Dashboard?
There are several reasons tool access may not appear in your Inventory Dashboard. Use the questions below as a guide to determine the issue you are experiencing, and the info that may need to be provided to our Customer Support team in order to address it.
iPad (i.e. iOS)
- Browser apps (chrome, safari, etc.) - What are the URL’s for accessing and using the tool? Please provide both pre-login and post-login domains so we can check whether either needs to be added to the tool in our library.
- Non-browser apps - what is the bundle ID for that tool? Please have that info handy because we will need to confirm that we have the same app bundle ID attached to that tool in our library. We might need to add it.
- Chrome browser app - What are the URL’s for accessing and using the tool? Please provide both pre-login and post-login domains so we can check whether either needs to be added to the tool in our library.
- Any other apps - we cannot track usage of any other native apps on Chromebooks.
Macbooks (i.e. macOS)
- Chrome browser app - what are the URL’s for accessing and using the tool? Please provide both pre-login and post-login domains so we can check whether either needs to be added to the tool in our library.
- Any other apps - we cannot track usage of any other native apps on Macbooks
Why am I seeing data reported for products that I have blocked?
Because LearnPlatform extensions are URL-driven, they will still capture attempts to access blocked sites, as well as visits that occur outside the range of on-campus content filters. This means data captured for blocked products likely falls into one of two scenarios:
- If there are a high number of users for a blocked product, but the volume of usage is low (i.e. total minutes per user), this likely represents users who have attempted to access the blocked product and were denied access, but our browser extension captured that attempt as an event since it pinged the network.
- If there are a low number of users for a blocked product, but the volume of usage is high (i.e. total minutes per user), then it’s likely that an educator or student took their school device home with them and used it to access the blocked site. If there are no off-campus content filters installed, they would be able to access the site from their home and we would capture that data. There are two criteria needed for this to happen: If the extension has been installed on the device and the user is logged into their school email account, then usage data would be captured.
For instances that fall outside of these two scenarios, check your content filter settings and contact LearnPlatform support.
How can I see products being accessed that aren’t currently in my library?
Use the “Approval Status” filter at the top of the dashboard and select “Not in Library” to identify tools that are not in your library.
How often should I access the Inventory Dashboard?
It really depends on what you are hoping to accomplish! Many customers access their Inventory Dashboard on a weekly basis to check for any new, unapproved tools that they may need to vet. Some access it daily to check that priority tools are being regularly accessed, while others use it less frequently in more of an audit model. Schedule time with your Customer Success Manager to explore different approaches we have seen success with.
I’ve set up a lot of custom statuses in my District Library. Will those show up on my Inventory Dashboard?
Yes, however there will be a two-hour delay from when you set the custom statuses to when they will show up in the Inventory Dashboard.
How can I see access data for a single site in my district?
In order to see access date for a single site, you will have to upload rosters to LearnPlatform. Once rosters are uploaded, you will be able to use the “Organization” filter at the top of the Inventory Dashboard to select the individual site you are interested in seeing access data for.
We recommend that all customers upload rosters, as it ensures all members of your organization will be automatically approved and verified upon installing the Chrome/iOS extension. Rostering will also provide you with deeper insights into which users are accessing which products and allow you to filter access data by grade level in addition to individual sites.
Is the Inventory Dashboard compliant with regulations around student and teacher PII?
The platform collects some personally identifiable information (PII), including student and teacher email addresses and names. We comply with AWS security best practice protocols which include encrypting all data in transit and all database data is encrypted at the filesystem level. All student PII is removed and student records are de-identified before processing in the platform. This is largely the same for educator PII, with the exception of providing a list of the top educator users when drilling down into a specific product usage data. Administrators can also hide this educator-specific usage data from the dashboard if they do not want to access or view that information.
What kind of product-specific trends should I look for within the Inventory Dashboard?
The Inventory Dashboard was designed to help you spot high-level trends to help you identify where you need to dig deeper and what specific questions to ask of more granular data that can be pulled from the individual products you use. Here are several trends you can watch for:
- Do I see an increase or decrease in users for this product over time?
- Is this product accessed more frequently during certain months of the school year?
- How much time are my educators and student populations spending on a product?
- Who are some of the top educator users for this product?
- Which schools are accessing this product, and to what extent?
- In which grade levels is this product being accessed?