The tracking of the time spent by users in courses, generally known as session time, is managed through records that are created and updated progressively according to the actions that users perform while attending courses in their platforms.
Time is always tracked in seconds but it is then displayed in different formats, depending on the platform area.
Tracking Logic for Courses
The tracked time is recorded at enrollment level (that is, the association between the course and the user) and it is based on the total time spent on the training materials composing the course.
For E-Learning courses, the time spent by users in courses is calculated by summing the tracks that users generate while playing the course’s training material.
For ILT (Instructor-Led Training) courses, besides tracking the time spent on the training material, the platform also considers:
- for on-site events, the amount of time spent by the user in every event where the event/session instructor recorded his or her attendance
- for online events, the amount of time spent by the user in the videoconference tool selected for every event. When selecting the Custom Tool option as Video Conference Tool, the platform cannot track the time spent in the event, so the system will calculate it as the time between the event start and end time configured in the event properties
As a general rule, the time tracking starts when the user first interacts with the course’s training material and stops five minutes after the last user interaction with the course player, at course level.
Tracking Logic for Training Materials
As a general rule, when a learner interacts with the training material associated with a course, the platform tracks the time when he or she starts the training material and the time when he or she completes it.
Here follow additional details on how time is tracked according to the different types of training material:
- AICC, SCORM, TinCan, LTI, and Elucidat. For these types of training material, the time tracking depends on the logic implemented in the objects themselves in order to manage the frequency used to update the platform with new tracking details.
- Videos. For this type of training material, the time tracking starts when the video is started by the learner up to video completion. The platform tracks every five seconds in order to store the progress while the video is watched. Progress intervals are shorter than five seconds when the video is less than 15-second long. More details on video completion.
- File/Google Drive. For these types of training material, time is tracked from the time the download starts, up to the time the download is completed. Most of the time, this tracking results in a very short time, usually seconds.
- Assignments. For this type of training material, time is tracked from the time the assignment screen is opened to the time the assignment is submitted by the learner. The time taken by the instructor to evaluate the assignment, marking it as completed, does not impact the time calculation.
- HTML Page. For this type of training material, time is tracked at the time the HTML page is opened (which also determines the training material completion). Most of the time, this tracking results in a very short time, usually seconds.
- Slide Converter. For this type of training material, time is tracked when the presentation is opened, at each slide viewed within the player, and when the presentation is completed.
- Test. For this type of training material, time is tracked when the user opens the test, each time he or she clicks Next or Previous while moving to the next page or going back to the previous page (if the object is paginated), and when the test is submitted.
- Survey. For this type of training material, time is tracked from the time the survey screen is opened up to the time the survey is submitted by the learner.
- Checklist. For this type of training material, time is tracked from the time the checklist is opened up to the time the checklist is submitted.
- If the training material progression is tracked frequently, the calculation of time that learners spend in courses is more accurate. As explained in this article, some types of training material do not allow to configure intermediate tracking, while others are more manageable from this point of view (such as videos). If you are using AICC, SCORM, TinCan, LTI, and Elucidat training materials, make sure you are inserting an adequate amount of interaction points for better time tracking.
- The number of pauses and interruptions done by learners while taking their training materials has an impact on the accuracy of the time calculation. Suggest your learners to avoid interruptions as much as possible, as well as discourage the usage of multiple browser tabs.