CTL Blog

LiveTalk Attendance Time Data Available in CoursePlus

November 19, 2020 | 2 Minute Read

Since the switch to using Zoom for LiveTalks in 2019, faculty have lamented the lack of data about how long an individual student spent in a LiveTalk session. This information was available when Adobe Connect was used for LiveTalks, but not Zoom. Fortunately, Zoom has begun providing data about attendance at a Zoom session via its Application Programming Interface (API).

The LiveTalk attendance report now shows the amount of time (in hours and minutes) that a student spent inside a Zoom-based LiveTalk. This data is available in the report in the course website, and in the Excel and PDF versions of the report. Additionally, the source attendance data from Zoom is linked at the top of each column in the LiveTalk report:

Location of download of LiveTalk attendance and poll data

The source attendance data from Zoom is important because of the limitations around this new feature that are the result of how Zoom works.

  • We cannot directly link students in CoursePlus to a matching name or account in Zoom because CoursePlus does not have access to all student Zoom accounts.
  • Student names and email addresses may not match what is on the course roster. Students can use any Zoom account to attend LiveTalks, and they may use a different name or email address in that Zoom account from what is displayed in CoursePlus.
  • If a student signed into the Zoom session with one account, and switches to a different account during the session, they will have two records in the source attendance data from Zoom.
  • If a session does not require signing in to Zoom for some reason, there may be records with no name or email, as this is allowed by Zoom.

CoursePlus uses the email address of the account with which each student signs into Zoom to match to a unique student record in CoursePlus. Fortunately, the majority of students sign in with their JHED-based student Zoom account. This allows us to match to a student’s JHED ID in most cases. If a direct match to a JHED ID cannot be made, an exact match can be made on the email address. If no match can be made, the student is displayed as having attended the live session, but no time spent in the session is displayed on the report. The source attendance data from Zoom may have a record for that student’s time spent in the live session, but that data cannot be matched or inferred precisely and so no time value appears in the LiveTalk report itself.

One method to increase the number of student matches to source attendance data from Zoom is to encourage all students to use their free “JHU Bluejays” Zoom accounts. Until then, not all student time in a Zoom session can be matched to the corresponding student.

As always, if you have any questions about this new feature, please contact CTL Help!